Diana Crossan says it will be hard to walk away from her role as Retirement Commissioner but 10 years is enough time in the job.

Crossan will step down on January 16 and is looking for a new job that has national reach and a strategic element.

"I'm really interested in something that makes a difference."

Crossan already combines her four-day-a-week role at the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income with being chairwoman of the board of the Ngai Tahu savings scheme and also runs two not-for-profit organisations helping Wellington refugees get into business and female refugees get their driver's licence.


Crossan was shoulder tapped for the role of Retirement Commissioner in 2003 after a long hunt to fill the position. But this time round it will be advertised.

Crossan said the new person would need to be someone who was strategic.

"In this job you need to keep your head up. They will need to have a passion for financial literacy and understand what a difference it will make to New Zealand."

Crossan said the new commissioner would also need commercial nous to work with both the financial sector and the Government. The job was also likely to become fulltime.

Crossan said her greatest achievement over the 10 years had been helping to get a national strategy for literacy together.

"It's not tangible. But it has brought people together on the issues."

She has also been pleased with the success of the Sorted website.

One area that has been a challenge has been the call to raise the retirement age - a call which the Government has chosen not to heed.


She believes it was not a total failure: "I don't think there is a single New Zealander that missed it being on the agenda."

Crossan said it was important that young New Zealanders were aware of the discussion so that they could prepare for it in the future.