Wednesday, 03 July 2019



  • Three-in-five Australians (62 per cent) are paying for services or subscriptions they don’t use or have forgotten about.
  • Sixty-four per cent of Australians are knowingly paying avoidable charges such as delivery and booking fees, surcharges and fees on multiple superannuation accounts.
  • Forty-two per cent of Australians actively avoid paying attention to their finances.
  • Twenty-one per cent of Australians have never checked their superannuation account.
  • One-in-five Australians (22 per cent) with multiple super accounts are unaware they have more than one.

Research commissioned by Rest, one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds with nearly two million members, today quantified the level of disengagement Australians show towards their finances – affecting both current savings and superannuation.

The research, which examined avoidable costs hitting the hip pocket, discovered Aussies were pouring $3.9 billion down the drain on paid apps, services and memberships they weren’t using.

When you combine this with the estimated $2.6 billion spent on excess fees and insurance on multiple superannuation accounts*, Australians are losing $6.5 billion on avoidable costs and fees.

It has revealed Australia as a nation of subscribaholics, with an average of three monthly subscriptions or services costing just under $40 per month. Yet despite the ongoing monthly hit to the hip pocket, three-in-five Australians (62 per cent) said they’re paying for services or subscriptions they don’t use or have forgotten about, and almost half (44 per cent) said they have never cancelled subscriptions they weren’t using.

“Many Australians are feeling overwhelmed by their current and future finances, and unfortunately this can have a negative impact on their financial health. One-in-five Aussies have never checked their bank or credit card statements, and a fifth have never checked their superannuation account. Yet checking these statements was found to be the most common way of discovering fees they weren’t aware of,” said Rest Chief Executive Officer, Vicki Doyle.

“We know that people are time poor and have to juggle an enormous number of commitments. Our research shows that four-in-five Australians avoid taking action on their finances because they’re too busy, it takes too long, or they don’t know where to start. In fact, 64 per cent said they knowingly pay avoidable fees, such as the fees on multiple superannuation accounts.

“While unused subscription fees may feel reasonably harmless, taking this approach to your super can have a serious impact when you retire. Australians with multiple super accounts are paying excess administration fees, insurance premiums and contributions tax, and these charges are whittling away one of the biggest assets they’ll accumulate in their lifetime.

“The Productivity Commission Report into superannuation found that a worker with two superannuation accounts across their working life will be $51,000 worse off at retirement than a worker with just one account*.

“Duplicate fees are an unnecessary drain on retirement savings, and can be easily avoided by consolidating your super accounts,” added Ms Doyle.

The research also found one-in-five Australians (22 per cent) with multiple super accounts are unaware they have more than one. Of the Australians who know they have more than one super account, a third (33 per cent) have never consolidated them.

“The good news is that it has never been easier to consolidate multiple super accounts. For example, Rest members can visit our website or jump on the Rest App, and we can track down any lost super and consolidate it into your Rest account,” said Ms Doyle.

Additional insights found in the report include:

  • Men are more engaged with their super: they’re more likely to have consolidated their super accounts (77 per cent compared to 55 per cent of women), have checked their superannuation accounts more recently (61.6 days ago, compared to women last checking 84.8 days ago), and are more likely to have checked their investment options and performance (63 per cent of men, 45 per cent of women).
  • One-in-10 Australians (11%) are paying more than $100 a month for their subscriptions and services.
  • Millennials (age 25-39) are the biggest subcribaholics, with an average of 4.7 paid subscriptions and services, paying $45.16 a month, and are most likely to be paying for subscriptions they’re not using or have forgotten about.
  • Gen Z (aged 18-24) is the savviest of the generations when it comes to subscriptions and services, being the most likely to have them but also paying the least on a monthly basis.
  • Gen Z (aged 18-24) is the savviest of the generations when it comes to subscriptions and services, being the most likely to have them but also paying the least on a monthly basis.


“It’s imperative to act now. Since 1 July, people with superannuation accounts that have been inactive for 16 months or more will have their insurance switched off as part of the Federal Government’s Protecting Your Superannuation legislation,” said Ms Doyle.

“So if you think you have multiple super funds, you need to check your accounts and consolidate them into the one account that best suits your needs.

“It’s important ¬– and easy – to check, because an inactive account could have really valuable insurance that could protect you and your family in a time of need.”


For further information, please contact:
Pauline Hayes
Head of Corporate Communications
t: (02) 9086 6348
m: 0458 815 252
Michael Mills
Corporate Communications Manager
t: (02) 9275 7590
m: 0428 499 722

About Rest

Rest is one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds by membership with more than 1.9 million members and around $50 billion in funds under management as at 31 December 2018. Rest is a member of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

This website is provided by Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited ABN 39 001 987 739, AFSL 24 0003 (Rest), trustee of Retail Employees Superannuation Trust ABN 62 653 671 394 (Fund), of which Rest Super, Rest Corporate, Rest Pension and Acumen are part. It contains general advice that has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information or deciding whether to acquire or hold a product, consider its appropriateness and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which is available on this website. The cost of providing financial services is included in the fees in the Fund as disclosed in the relevant PDS. Rest and the Fund do not charge any additional fees or obtain any commissions for the advice provided. Rest’s employees are paid a salary and do not receive any commissions. They may receive a performance related bonus that takes into account the financial services provided. Super Investment Management Pty Limited (ABN 86 079 706 657, AFSL 240004), a wholly owned subsidiary company of Rest, manages some of the fund’s investments. Apart from this, Rest does not have any relationships or associations with any related body corporate or product issuer that might reasonably be expected to be capable of influencing Rest in providing financial services.

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