Difference Wiki

Resignation vs. Retirement: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 6, 2024
Resignation is voluntarily leaving a job for any reason, while retirement is ceasing work, typically due to age or tenure.

Key Differences

Resignation is an act of voluntarily leaving a job or position, often for personal, professional, or other reasons. Retirement, however, is typically associated with reaching a certain age or after completing a significant period of service, often marked by a formal cessation of one’s career.
A resignation can occur at any point during an individual’s career and does not necessarily imply the end of their professional life. In contrast, retirement usually signifies the end of one's primary career, often followed by a period of non-employment or part-time work.
Resignations are usually immediate or at short notice and can be for various reasons, including career change or dissatisfaction. Retirement is typically planned for and anticipated, involving long-term financial planning and is often celebrated as a life milestone.
Upon resignation, individuals may seek new employment or career opportunities. Retirement, however, is often associated with a lifestyle change, focusing on leisure, hobbies, or voluntary work, with less emphasis on paid work.
Resignation is a personal decision to leave a job for various reasons, while retirement marks the end of a long career, usually due to age or eligibility for pension benefits.

Comparison Chart


Voluntary job cessation for various reasons
Cessation of career, typically due to age/tenure


Can occur at any career stage
Often occurs at a predetermined age


Personal, professional, dissatisfaction, etc.
Age, completion of service, pension eligibility

Post-Event Employment

Often seeks new employment or opportunities
Typically does not seek new employment

Financial Considerations

Less emphasis on long-term planning
Involves long-term financial planning

Resignation and Retirement Definitions


Ceasing employment for personal or professional reasons.
After much thought, she chose resignation to pursue further studies.


The period of life after ending a professional career, often due to age.
Her retirement was filled with travel and volunteering.


Voluntary act of leaving one’s job or position.
He submitted his resignation due to a career change.


A stage in life post-career, focusing on personal interests, leisure, or family.
Retirement gave her more time to spend with her grandchildren.


Formal declaration of intent to leave a job.
Her resignation letter was concise and professional.


Withdrawal from one’s position or occupation after reaching a certain age.
He looked forward to his retirement after 30 years of service.


A decision to quit employment, usually effective immediately or at short notice.
His sudden resignation surprised his colleagues.


Cessation of regular employment with the expectation of a pension.
They planned a celebration for his upcoming retirement.


Leaving a position or role, typically without the intention of retirement.
Her resignation paved the way for a new opportunity abroad.


Leaving a lifelong career, typically at a predetermined age or after a certain tenure.
His retirement was marked by a grand farewell party.


The act or an instance of resigning
We expect her resignation any day now.


Withdrawal from one's occupation or position, especially upon reaching a certain age.


An oral or written statement that one is resigning a position or office
Submitted his resignation.


The age at which one withdraws from work or activity
On reaching retirement, he took up woodworking.


Is a notice period required for resignation?

Often, but it varies depending on the job and contract terms.

Can someone resign before retirement age?

Yes, resignation can happen at any time during a career.

Do people work after retirement?

Some may choose part-time or volunteer work, but usually, retirement marks an end to full-time employment.

What is a resignation?

A voluntary decision to leave one's job or position.

What are common reasons for resignation?

Career change, dissatisfaction, personal reasons, or better opportunities.

Do retirees usually receive a pension?

Many do, but it depends on their employment history and pension plans.

Can a resignation lead to unemployment?

Yes, if one doesn't have another job lined up.

How do people prepare for retirement?

Through long-term financial planning, savings, and investments.

How is retirement different from resignation?

Retirement usually occurs due to age or tenure, marking the end of one's career, unlike resignation.

Is retirement always voluntary?

Typically, but it can also be due to mandatory retirement policies in some professions.

What is the typical retirement age?

It varies, but often between 60 to 65 years, depending on the country and profession.

What lifestyle changes occur in retirement?

Often a shift to leisure, hobbies, travel, and family time.

Are retirees eligible for unemployment benefits?

Generally, no, as retirement is not considered involuntary unemployment.

Are there legal implications in resignation?

Yes, particularly regarding notice periods and final pay.

Can a resignation be rescinded?

It depends on the employer's policies and the circumstances.

How should one resign from a job?

Ideally, through a formal resignation letter and possibly a meeting with a supervisor.

Does resignation affect a person's pension?

It can, depending on the pension plan and length of service.

Does health impact retirement decisions?

Yes, health considerations can be a significant factor in deciding when to retire.

Is a reason required for resignation?

Not legally, but it's often discussed with the employer.

What financial benefits do retirees receive?

Typically, pensions, social security, or retirement savings.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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