Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Calculating a Group Retirement Date.

Calculating a Group Retirement Date

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 22, 2015)


In Mani's country government employees retire on the last day of March following the day they turn 55 years old. (If they turn 55 on March 31, they retire that same day.) Given the employee's date of birth, Mani can figure out when they turn 55, but he can't figure out how to calculate the following March 31.

There are many ways you can go about calculating the March 31 after a person turns 55. The one thing that all the formulas have in common, however, is that they must somehow figure out if a person's birthday is before April 1 or not. (They could also figure out whether the birthday is before or on March 31, but the calculation is actually easier if you compare to April 1.)

Assuming the individual's birth date is in cell A1, here is one formula you could use:


This compares the date the person turns 55 with the date of April 1 in the year he or she turns 55. If the date is before April 1, then March 31 of the year he or she turns 55 is used. If the date is later, then March 31 of the following year is used.

This could easily be shortened a bit by simply comparing the birth date to April 1 of that year, in the following manner:


Of course, you could shorten it even more by simply looking at the month in which the birthday occurs:


Another logical step in trying to shorten the formula even further is to do the comparison on the month within the DATE function itself, in this manner:


You can shorten the formula even further by getting rid of the IF statement completely:


This formula works because the comparison (MONTH(A1)>3) returns either 0 or 1 depending on whether it is false or true.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9775) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Calculating a Group Retirement Date.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Changing Font Face and Size Conditionally

Conditional formatting does not allow you to change the typeface and font size used in a cell. You can write your own ...

Discover More

Viewing Your Work Full-Screen

Want to use the maximum space possible for displaying information on screen? You'll want to learn how to use the ...

Discover More

Replacing Some Smart Quotes

Smart quotes look great in a document, but may not be right for all instances of quote marks or apostrophes. If you need ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Converting Between Buddhist and Gregorian Calendar Systems

Converting from one calendar system to another can be a challenge. The key is identifying the differences between the ...

Discover More

Calculating the First Business Day of the Month

Want to know which day of the month is the first business day? There are a few ways you can check to make sure the date ...

Discover More

Calculating Week-Ending Dates

When working with dates, you may need to figure out all the dates on which weeks end in a given year. There are several ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 4?

2015-08-24 10:35:01

Clarence Washington

Try ....


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.