Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell has been cleared of bullying allegations but will finish up her job at the end of June after Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi said two terms was enough for one commissioner.

That leaves the role wide open for a new Retirement Commissioner and it's likely to be highly sought after given it has a potential $300,000-plus salary attached to it.

It's only the fourth time the position has become available.

Maxwell stepped into the job in June 2013 after she was seconded from the Financial Markets Authority.


She took over from Diana Crossan who left the role after 10 years in the job.

Colin Blair was the first Retirement Commissioner and held the position from 1995 to 2001.

David Boyle, former general manager of education at the Commission for Financial Capability which the Retirement Commissioner oversees, predicts the role will be popular.

"I would say a truckload of people will be putting their hand up both locally and internationally."

Boyle, who started a new job at Mint Asset Management last year, isn't one of them.

But names that are being talked about include Massey University's Claire Matthews who has specialised in being a retirement industry commentator in recent years as the director of academic quality for the business school.

Matthews undertakes annual research which looks at the retirement expenditure of those already in retirement to help people figure out the cost of living while retired and how much they potentially need to save to afford a comfortable retirement.

Last year she was one of two independent advisers appointed to help the Government find the best way for people with life-shortening conditions to withdraw their KiwiSaver funds when they need to retire.


Matthews has also been vocal on changes made to KiwiSaver this year calling for employers to be forced to continue contributing to an employee's KiwiSaver account once they turn 65.

Matthews declined to comment on the role or whether she had applied for the job.

The other external candidate being talked about is David Kneebone. Kneebone is the general manager of Hong Kong's Investor and Financial Education Council — the New Zealand equivalent to the Retirement Commission.

Kneebone previously worked at the Commission for Financial Capability for eight years but left in 2014 to move to the Hong Kong-based job.

He is said to be well-connected to the current Government but also declined to talk about the role.

But perhaps the best placed contender is Peter Cordtz, the current general manager of community at CFFC.

Cordtz has been acting Retirement Commissioner for the last six months while Maxwell was stood down while the investigation was carried out.

Cordtz's role has strong alignments with the current Government's priorities. His role involves focusing on the wellbeing of New Zealanders most at risk of arriving at retirement in poor financial health with a particular focus on Maori and Pasifika communities.

He would also be on the front foot when it comes to the three-yearly retirement policy review which is due to be presented to the Government by December this year.

The job advertisement specified that the prospective Retirement Commissioner would have to demonstrate a "working knowledge" of retirement income and financial capability issues, experience dealing with government and strategic skills.

It also specified that the applicant would need "the ability to foster a positive, respectful workplace culture where people feel valued, and unwelcome behaviours are less likely to occur".

The role is a corporation sole position which means the commissioner has both a governance and a managerial role.