November 29 2023
Employer News

The role employers can play in easing cost of living strains

The rising cost of everyday expenses is a challenge and reality we’re all experiencing – but recent data shows, Rest’s younger members are among those being hit the hardest.

Increases in cost of living are having a sharper impact on young Rest members, especially those working in the retail and food industries, according to a survey commissioned by Rest1.

How financial stress is impacting young Rest members and their super

Deborah Potts, Rest’s Chief Member Officer, recently joined the Australian Retailers Association’s employer relations event to share key insights around the realities facing retail workers and young Rest members and their super.

Our research paints a picture of how financial stress is affecting young members, and the numbers tell a compelling story:

  • 70% of young members are worried about keeping up with rising living costs
  • 56% are experiencing physical health impacts due to financial stress
  • 50% often feeling stressed about meeting their day-to-day financial needs.
Key drivers of financial stress among young Rest members were:

  • the challenges of saving for a house deposit (70%)
  • rental accommodation expenses (62%)
  • debt-related concerns (54%)
  • uncertainty around work (48%).

What about mental health impacts?

It’s not surprising that 73% of young members dealing with financial stress report that it’s also taking a toll on their mental health1.

And as financial pressures increase, Rest is also seeing a surge in mental health-related insurance claims.

The implications are clear: the benefits of financial wellbeing are more than just meeting everyday expenses. It has a significant impact on the overall health and happiness of our members and workforce.

Empowering financial and super wellbeing

The statistics might be sobering, but there is hope – and it can be found at work. Young Rest members said the top drivers of optimism in the workplace were:

  • good career prospects (68%)
  • ability to save/savings (67%).

Here lies our silver lining: employees who are provided with access to essential information may improve their financial literacy, and employers can play a role with ongoing career development programs at work, which may help them to get ahead in a tight labour market. This approach not only helps attract top talent but also contributes to building a more resilient, motivated, and optimistic team. 

If you’re a Rest employer or you’d like to learn more, you can start the conversation with Rest today. 

1. Research carried out by Instinct & Reason. Data was collected over a 22-day period from 5 September 2023 to 26 September 2023 using an online survey. Total sample was 1,596, including 516 Rest members aged 18 to 34, 71 Rest members 35 and older and 1,009 participants from the general population. 

Issued by Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd. Any advice is general and does not take account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any advice or deciding to join or stay, consider its appropriateness and the PDS and TMD at The cost of providing financial services is included in the fees as disclosed in the relevant PDS. Rest and the Fund do not charge additional fees or pay or obtain commissions for advice provided. Rest employees are paid a salary and do not receive commissions or fees for the advice provided to you. They may receive a performance related bonus that takes into account the financial services provided. Super Investment Management Pty Limited, a wholly owned company of Rest, manages some of the Fund’s investments. Rest has no other relationships or associations with any related body corporate or product issuer that might reasonably be expected to influence Rest in providing financial services. For more information, contact us at