Resignation is the formal act of leaving or quitting one's office or position. A resignation can occur when a person holding a position gained by election or appointment steps down, but leaving a position upon the expiration of a term, or choosing not to seek an additional term, is not considered resignation.
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When an employee chooses to leave a position, it is considered a resignation, as opposed to involuntary termination. Whether an employee resigned or was terminated is sometimes a topic of dispute, because in many situations, a terminated employee is eligible for severance pay and/or unemployment benefits, whereas one who voluntarily resigns may not be eligible. Abdication is the equivalent of resignation for a reigning monarch, pope, or holder of another similar position.