Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan announces retirement, plans to step down in January, 2013

Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan announces retirement, plans to step down in January, 2013

Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan will be stepping down from her role as head of the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income in January.

Crossan, a vocal advocate for raising the age of eligibility for retirement, has been with the newly renamed Commission for a decade. A successor has not been named yet.

John Body, managing director for ANZ Wealth, applauded Crossan for her contributions toward improving financial literacy in New Zealand and for pushing issues around the long-term sustainability of New Zealand Superannuation.

"The issues she has raised are now at the heart of public policy debate on retirement. The work of the Commission has ensured that people are far more concerned about preparing for their retirement than they were a decade ago,'' said Body.

Body also acknowledged Crossan's support of KiwiSaver as a retirement savings vehicle for New Zealand and her work in general to encourage Kiwis to take greater interest in and responsibility for building individual savings.

"ANZ is proud to have supported the Commissioner in her endeavours through the Financial Literacy Survey, and will continue to work with the Commission to ensure the focus around retirement savings and financial literacy remains at the forefront of the policy debate," he said.

 

 

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Great time for a review.
 
Total annual cost to run this Commissioner + cohorts = $6,533,909 and apparently they need more money;
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1203/S00726/retirement-commissioner-crossan-puts-hand-out-for-more-cash.htm
Of their $6M, they spend $3M on marketing - yes, marketing.
Commissioner's salary = $180,000 (2011) with a $10,000 pay rise between 2010 and 2011.  That's a 6% pay rise btw.
http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/201213/PublicBossesPay1.pdf
 
I suppose she'll be sorted for her retirement.
 
By the way, this office was only created in 1993.  Pray tell what did we do about sorting ourselves out before then?

What would you expect an organisation whose role is to help people to manage their finances prepare for their retirement to spend on marketing - ie, getting messages to as many people as possible?
Do you think New Zealanders are all managing their finances optimally already? 
 

Do you think New Zealanders are all managing their finances optimally already?
 
Whilst the system remains as crooked and twisted as it is presently - 'education' by the State (i.e. the crooks in charge of the hen house) is quite a joke really.  If there was one only rule most needed to know in the past decade it was avoid debt.  This office was there throughout the entire run up to the GFC .. what pray tell were they doing then given the number of retirees who lost their savings in the finance companies?  Likely encouraging "investment" in that sector.  Given so many old folks got right royally dicked .. well I guess the current Retirement Commission totally and abjectly FAILED.  Then look at the poor performance of our aged care facilities - the continued weak pay and representation for caregivers and the poor standards of practice throughout that 'boom' economic period.  To my mind, she should have been sacked long ago and the entire office closed - had we done that when tshtf back in 2007/08 we'd have saved the nation $30,000,000 bucks by now.  And this is one VERY SMALL and relatively insignificant office in the greater scheme of quasi-government agencies in New Zealand.  $30,000,000 bucks would have bought alot of breakfasts for kids in poor school districts where the teachers are paying for them at the moment in many areas, I understand.
 
The government would have been much better spending our money on regulating the banks and finance companies and curbing excesses (in central, local and quasi government expenditure - which includes offices such as the retirement commission) as a means to prevent/manage what has instead resulted in our current account blowout - a position we WILL NOT RECOVER FROM for many decades (if ever).
 
That kind of marketing expenditure with taxpayer dollars is just a prime example of the mentality of excess.  Check out this chart and ask yourself WHY the growth in public servants has outstripped every other 'growth' indicator in the last decade?  Is it because we are as a nation doing SO MUCH BETTER for having all these mandarins and cronies?
 
http://www.interest.co.nz/Charts/Government/Public%20service%20employment
 
Oh to be given the opportunity to take the knife to this type of unnecessary government expenditure and hand it back to the folks from whence it came. 

 

Gosh, what a lot of hate.
 
So you are saying that public money should not be spent on advising people how to manage their personal finances.
 
Is that because the Government ought to create an environment in which it is impossible for anybody to make a mistake in the management of their personal finances, or because  it is not any of the Government's concern if they do?
 
What is your evidence that the RC encouraged older people to put money into high risk invetment products and thus bears responsibility for losses incurred by those that did so?  
 
 
 
 

So you are saying that public money should not be spent on advising people how to manage their personal finances.
 
I don't think Kate is saying that at all -  I believe she is reiterating the need to remove incompetent, well connected journeymen/women from positions requiring specific honed skills, beyond those required to regurgitate the party line.

MdM not hate - realism.
 
So you are saying that public money should not be spent on advising people how to manage their personal finances.
 
Of course that's what I'm saying (in addition to what Stephen's saying above!)! 
 
Just think - had they dumped that idea and instead just focused on regulating the finance sector in the manner that they are supposed to do .. like vetting prospectus', checking the validity of the claims (or non-claims), investigating and policing related party loans, off balance sheet transactions, innappropriate payment of financial incentives to a largely de-regulated financial 'advisory' sector etc. etc... we would not have this lot of crooks and patsies standing in the dock now whilst a couple of billion were lost mainly from old folks retirement nest eggs.
 
The economy has been hollowed out by the government doing a bad job at stuff they have no need to do.  When I was 21 a friend of ours who sold Mutual Funds for a living got me involved in that private sector super scheme .. no government intervention needed (aside from the tax break one got on investment .. which btw some other government came in and got rid of). 
 
That is the government's role - regulating for the right conditions to incentivise financial/retirement planning ... nothing more.

Well said Kate in all of your above posts and thanks for posting the link above to the graph. 
 
 
 
 

What is your evidence that the RC encouraged older people to put money into high risk invetment products and thus bears responsibility for losses incurred by those that did so?
 
You say they were high risk .. well if you can find any media release by the Retirement Commissioner over that boom period where the RC warned us all that these finance company investments were high risk - then I'll concede.
 
Go for it;
 
http://www.cflri.org.nz/news-media/media-releases

And here's one for my corner, MdM - the RC's adivce in 2007 (hahaha - guess she really didn't see the GFC coming, eh?).  On a 1-10 point list on 'getting yourself sorted' - number 9. is:
 
9. Consider investing – It isn’t just for rich people! Investing is all about making your money work for you.
 
Implication being at the time - hey all you folks with safe deposits sitting in the bank (i.e. savings accounts) - go out and invest .. no mention of risk anywhere in sight.
 
Not only that but at 7. she encourages the use of trusts to "protect your assets" .. meaning (I assume) so that other people (taxpayers) can look after you when you become infirm even if you have the means - or (I assume) so that if you take a risk and it all goes belly up someone else (an unsecured creditor) ends up on the wrong side of your malinvestment.
 
http://www.cflri.org.nz/news-media/media-releases/2006-media-releases/2007-your-year-get-financially-fit

Fair comment, interesting to note her income, in relative terms, is quite modest compared to position of similar scope in Central/local Governement.

Similar scope?  There are only around 20 staff to manage in that office - and a budget of $6M with no responsibility for raising any revenue - or making any profit.
 
Compare it to working for a charity (but at least those managers actually have responsibility for raising funds) .. I'm picking $50-60,000 would be more than generous.
 
In the last financial review of her performance - the biggest black mark she got was for underspending!
http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/34408ACF-C0EC-4312-B185-4A103759945A/189298/DBSCH_SCR_5070_200910financialreviewoftheRetiremen.pdf
 
 

Not saying what it should be.... however I can think of similar scope jobs for city council entities paying 200-300k. I work with a number of non-profit and know the sector well. I agree no comparison. 
I find it interesting your are so critical of an area you previously made a career in?
 
 

A career in central government - no - went there from a much longer earlier career all in the private sector.  Given I joined CG at a senior management level -  five years however was plenty long enough to understand it well.  Running a city council is a totally different beast than running a government department - the latter most certainly being the easier (lower risk, less effort, more perks) job. 
 
 
 
 

Thanks for your comments, I was thinking local run council Museums etc.
 
What a total waste, really like your post above.

There is an important distinction between the age that you "have to slave on to" and the age at which the taxpayer will support you with NZS in your retirement. 
 
Like everybody else, Ms Crossan will not be getting NZS until the age of eligibility, whatever that may be by the time she reaches it. 
 
She can, however, retire at any time, as can you. 

MdM - Did you not understand what Ivan was saying or are you simply hair-splittling for the sake of it?

give her a break ,she was only part time.