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Planning for Retirement

Retirement is a significant and life changing chapter and it requires careful and thoughtful planning because it involves gathering lots of information and making important decisions about Finances, Lifestyle, Activities, Next Career, Learning, Volunteering to name just a few.

Expandable List

We recommend starting to plan for your retirement a minimum of 6 months in advance. This allows you time to make sure you are comfortable with your decision before making the arrangement formal.

The first step in the process should be meeting with your manager to discuss your decision to retire. You will want to have some leeway regarding the business / work flow when you tell your manager of your impending retirement. Be thoughtful of your relationships: your team, department and manager to determine appropriate notification.

Human Resources requires 3-4 months notice of your intent to retire. This will ensure ample time to prepare your retirement package. A formal notification in the form of an email or letter should be provided to Human Resources. Your HR Advisor will handle additional processes to ensure records are updated in the system.

Human Resources will meet with you 2-3 months in advance of your retirement to discuss information which may include pension amount and options, post-retirement benefits, University services for Retirees and the McMaster University Retirees Association.

As outlined in the ‘Retirement Process’ there are dates of notification that you need to consider in making your retirement decision.

For members of the McMaster Pension Plans, retirements will always commence on the first day of a month, as outlined in the Pension Plan texts. Important dates to understand when considering when to retire include the normal retirement date, early retirement date and special retirement date which are defined in the applicable pension highlights document.

It is important to understand the financial decisions that come with retirement. There are three sources of income that may contribute to your retirement:

  • Government Plans (CPP, OAS)
  • Personal Savings (RRSP, TFSA)
  • McMaster Pension Plan

There are a number of resources that can assist you in understanding the McMaster portions that contribute to your retirement income. Human Resources is committed to providing information on these areas, however, we are unable to advise on the best option to meet your needs.You may wish to seek assistance from a financial planner or financial advisor with your banking institution.

Creating a transition plan with your manager will help you and your team as you prepare for retirement.

The plan will help you take appropriate actions to transfer your important knowledge and experience to others, so that the work you leave behind can be continued successfully by others. Here are some examples of what a transition plan may include:

  • Explicit knowledge: Updating files, documents and relevant information, making sure it is accessible
  • Tacit knowledge: sharing your organizational knowledge, unwritten experiences through mentoring and cross training others, development coaching so others can learn from your expertise.

These important activities will help you to stay engaged and contribute high value during your transition to retirement.

McMaster offers a number of programs and policies to support transition into retirement, which are specific to each employee group.

Your HR Advisor can support you through what is available to you, based on your various personal factors.

Pre-Retirement Reduced Workload Policy

Vacation Exchange Program for TMG

To ensure you receive your retirement package and other documents in a timely manner, review your personal information on Mosaic Employee Self Service including: home mailing address, email, telephone number, marital status and beneficiary’s name and date of birth.

Contact HR if you have changes that require updating as to best reflect accuracy in your retirement package.

McMaster Resources for Retirement Planning

We understand that navigating retirement can be a onerous process. McMaster offers a number of resources to assist you in learning about key processes, available resources, transitioning into retirement and making financial decisions.

Support from your HR Advisor Contact Us

Should you wish to speak with someone regarding your personal retirement options or you just need someone to help you with your unique situation, your Human Resources Advisor is available to support your needs.

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Learn More

Through our EFAP, you can arrange a free discussion with a financial expert, legal expert, or retirement counsellor.

Retirement Workshops for Pension Plan Members Learn More

The Retirement Workshops for Pension Plan Members explore an overview of the pension plan, key dates in the retirement process and highlights of post-retirement services and benefits.


One-on-One Education Meetings for Group RRSP Members Learn More

McMaster Group RRSP members are invited to spend 30 minutes with a Desjardins Education Advisor in a personal one-on-one meeting to review your Group RRSP.

Annual General Meeting for Group RRSP Members Learn More

The Annual General Meeting for Group RRSP Members brings together specialists from Desjardins Financial and McMaster Human Resources.