Sample Letter Requesting Severance Pay: Free & Effective

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for crafting a compelling request, whether you’re laid off, redundant, or parting with your employer for other reasons.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand your right to severance pay: Check your employment contract or company policy.
  • Research severance pay standards: Know the typical compensation in your industry and region.
  • Keep the tone professional: Respectfully request severance pay, stating your understanding of company policies and your contributions to the company.
  • Be concise: Clearly state your request without unnecessary details.
  • Provide evidence: Mention any documents that support your request.
  • Be prepared to negotiate: Understand that the first offer may not be final.
  • Follow up: If you don’t receive a response, send a polite follow-up email or letter.
  • Consult an attorney if necessary: For complex situations or if you feel your rights have been violated.

Step 1: Understand Your Eligibility and Rights

Before you write your letter, ensure you are clear on whether you are entitled to severance pay. Review your employment contract, employee handbook, or any union agreements that may apply to your situation. Also, check if there are any precedents within your company for offering severance.

Step 2: Research Severance Pay Standards

Look into what is standard in terms of severance pay within your industry and region. This information can be gleaned from labor websites, talking to colleagues, or consulting with industry bodies.

Step 3: Drafting Your Letter

When you’re ready to draft your letter, follow a structured format:

  1. Opening: Address the letter to your direct supervisor or the appropriate person in the human resources department. Begin with a polite introduction and state the purpose of your letter.
  2. Body: Explain the situation leading to your departure and outline your understanding of the company’s severance policy. Subtly remind them of your contributions to the company and any special circumstances that might justify your request.
  3. Closing: Request a meeting or a response, and thank the reader for considering your request. Provide your contact information for follow-up.

Step 4: Review and Edit Your Letter

Ensure your letter is free from errors and that it’s clear and concise. Have a trusted colleague or friend review it.

Step 5: Send Your Letter

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Send your letter according to company protocol—via email, company messaging system, or hard copy. Keep a record of when and how you sent the letter.

Step 6: Follow Up

If you don’t receive a response within a week or two, it’s appropriate to send a polite follow-up.

Severance Pay Letter Template

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

[Recipient’s Name]
[Recipient’s Title]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to discuss my severance benefits following my recent [layoff/termination/etc.]. As you are aware, my position as [Your Position] will be [ending/terminated/etc.] as of [Last Working Day], due to [Reason for Termination/Layoff].

Having dedicated [Number of Years] years to [Company Name], I believe that a fair severance package is both justified and beneficial for both parties. As per the company policy and my employment contract, I am requesting [Specific Severance Benefits] which I believe reflects the standard practice for a position of my tenure and level.

I have attached [Documents to Support Claim, if any], which include [List of Documents]. I am hoping we can discuss this matter further and reach a mutually agreeable severance agreement. Please let me know a convenient time for a meeting, or feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email].

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your prompt response.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]


Writing a letter requesting severance pay is a delicate process that requires a clear understanding of your rights, a respectful tone, and a strong justification for your request. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to craft a professional letter that increases your chances of receiving a fair severance package.

Tips for Writing Your Severance Pay Request Letter

  • Be respectful and avoid any negative language.
  • Keep your letter concise and focused on the request.
  • Research and include what you are legally or contractually entitled to.
  • Provide evidence or documentation if available.
  • Be prepared for negotiation and remain flexible.
  • Ensure your contact information is correct and professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is a Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: A Request Letter for Separation Pay is a formal document written by an employee to their employer or human resources department to request compensation or financial benefits upon the termination of their employment. 

It outlines the employee’s entitlement to separation pay based on employment agreements, company policies, or applicable labor laws.

Q: When should I write a Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: You should write a Request Letter for Separation Pay when you are leaving your job and believe that you are entitled to receive compensation for the termination of your employment. It is typically written after you have made the decision to part ways with your employer.

Q: What should I include in a Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: A Request Letter for Separation Pay should include the following details:

  1. Introduction and purpose of the letter.
  2. Explanation of the reasons for separation.
  3. Reference to relevant documents, such as employment contracts or company policies, that support your claim for separation pay.
  4. Clear statement of your request for separation pay, including the specific amount or calculation method you believe is fair.
  5. Supporting evidence of your contributions to the organization, such as performance evaluations or achievements.
  6. Express gratitude for the opportunities and willingness to ensure a smooth transition.
  7. Formal closing and signature.

Q: How should I format a Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: A Request Letter for Separation Pay should follow a professional business letter format. It should include your contact information, the date, the recipient’s details, a formal salutation, clearly divided paragraphs, a formal closing, and your signature. Use a professional and polite tone throughout the letter.

Q: What supporting documents should I attach to my Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: It is recommended to attach relevant documents that support your claim for separation pay. These may include your employment contract, company policies, performance evaluations, commendations, or any other records that demonstrate your contributions to the organization. Including these documents strengthens your case and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Q: How should I send my Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: You can send your Request Letter for Separation Pay either through email or physical mail. If sending via email, attach the letter as a PDF or Word document and consider requesting a read receipt to confirm the recipient’s receipt of the email. If sending a physical copy, consider using certified mail to ensure delivery and obtain proof of receipt.

Q: Is there a specific timeline for receiving a response to a Request Letter for Separation Pay? 

Answer: The timeline for receiving a response may vary depending on the organization and its internal processes. It is advisable to include a reasonable timeframe for a response in your letter and follow up if you haven’t received a reply within that timeframe.

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