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Commonwealth Bank media release


  • CommBank Superannuation research reveals more than half of under 35’s expect to retire before 65
  • Three quarters of under 35’s think it would be easier to track Super if it was linked to their online bank account
  • CommBank launches Essential Super to help under 35’s take control of their retirement destiny

While many under 35’s attitude to money is ‘spend now, save later’[1], new Superannuation research from CommBank highlights why many of them may want to be more cautious with their money if they’re to live comfortably[2] in retirement.

Whether it’s retiring early, living a more luxurious lifestyle or even winning the lottery to fund retirement, research commissioned by CommBank reveals under 35’s have expectations for retirement that are unlikely to materialise unless they start taking more control of their retirement destiny.

The CommBank research found that under 35’s biggest aspiration is early retirement, with more than half (53 per cent) expecting to retire before the current retirement age of 65. When it comes to how under 35’s expect to fund early retirement, half (50 per cent) say they’ll use their current/future financial portfolio[3] and a third (33 per cent) plan to increase their superannuation contributions. Other strategies to fund early retirement include:

  • adopting a more basic lifestyle (30 per cent);
  • moving to a more affordable area outside of the major cities (19 per cent);
  • using inheritance from parents (18 per cent);
  • downsizing their home (17 per cent); and
  • winning the lottery (15 per cent). 

Linda Elkins, Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager, says it’s essential under 35’s are given easier ways to manage their superannuation to help ensure they take a more active interest in funding their retirement.

“It’s clear from our research there is a disconnect between what under 35’s aspire for in retirement versus what action they’re taking. While many of us would like to retire before 65, without careful and prudent planning it’s unlikely we’d be able to fund it adequately.

“Given many under 35’s are relying on their superannuation to fund retirement, there is an urgent need to provide this group with easier and more accessible ways to manage their superannuation. We’ve launched Essential Super so that customers can view and manage their superannuation in NetBank alongside their everyday online banking, helping them conveniently and quickly take control and stay on top of their Super obligations and keep it visible as they move from job to job,” said Elkins.

Although one in three (30 per cent) of those surveyed believe they will have enough money in their superannuation to retire comfortably at 65, according to CommBank research, the average under 35 currently has less than $25,000 in their superannuation. This is some way off the $524,000 superannuation balance the Australian Securities & Investments Commission[4] believes someone aged 65 today would require to live comfortably during retirement.

Indeed, if the majority (41 per cent) of under 35’s continue to make the minimum superannuation contribution of 9.25 per cent until they reach retirement, there will be a significant shortfall in their final superannuation balance needed for a comfortable retirement. Particularly when rising living costs and inflation are taken into account.

With more than three quarters (76 per cent) of under 35’s thinking it would be easier to track superannuation if it was available to view alongside their online bank account, CommBank has launched a new superannuation solution, Essential Super. Designed as a low-cost offering that is simple, low maintenance and easy to understand, Essential Super, will allow customers to take more control of their superannuation savings by being available to view in NetBank, alongside their other online bank accounts.


According to the CommBank research, when it comes to how under 35’s expect to live in retirement, more than a third (34 per cent) expect to live a more luxurious lifestyle than they do now, while only 11 per cent expect to live a more basic lifestyle.

Delving further into under 35’s expectations about retirement, the report reveals some interesting findings including:

  • while unsurprisingly 90 per cent of under 35’s expect the basics, such as mobile phone/internet access, owning a car and having health insurance, almost the same (79 per cent) expect to be able to afford nice clothes, buy the latest household goods/services and state-of-the-art technology and spoil their kids with presents ‘whenever they feel like it’;
  • more than seven out of ten under 35’s expect to take regular holidays in Australia (73 per cent) and go on short breaks with their partner (70 per cent);
  • half of under 35’s expect to go on overseas holidays (54 per cent) and round the world cruises (50 per cent); and
  • one in three under 35’s expect to regularly enjoy fine dining (35 per cent) and going to the theatre with friends and family (29 per cent). 


It’s simple: the product has a simple fee structure that makes it easy for customers to understand. There are no hidden fees or charges – no fees for setting up your account or depositing funds, no exit fees or commissions to financial advisers. Administration costs are just $5 per month with a 0.8 per cent management fee for investing your money and the usual transaction costs.

It’s low maintenance: Essential Super is easy to maintain with a customer’s superannuation and everyday banking managed together.

  • The product is available through NetBank so customers can keep track of their superannuation online, as they would their everyday bank account. This makes their superannuation account transparent and visible.
  • It’s easy for customers to consolidate their superannuation from other providers into their Essential Super fund.
  • It’s a portable offering – customers can take Essential Super from job to job.

It’s easy to understand: with Lifestage investment and insurance options to suit your needs.

  • With Lifestage options, customers are put into an investment mix based on their age, where the investment mix between growth and defensive assets change as they age.
  • Alternatively, customers can choose their own investment option from: a balanced option; an Australian share option or a cash deposit option and the Lifestage option.
  • Simple bundled insurance (Death & Total Permanent Disability). This cover is adjusted throughout a customer’s lifetime, increasing or decreasing at different times of their life.

For more information on Essential Super visit a Commonwealth Bank branch or apply for an account online, visit here.


[1] According to News Poll research of 546 Australains aged 18-34, more than a third (36 per cent) of under 35’s admit to to spending money as soon as they have it.

[2] According to the Australian Superannuation Fund Association, a ‘comfortable retirement’ is defined as “Enabling an older, healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and to have a good standard of living through the purchase of such things as; household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes, a range of electronic equipment, and domestic and occasionally international holiday travel.”

[3] E.g. stocks and shares, property, savings, superannuation other private investments etc.

[4] According to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission a single person reaching retirement today would require a lump sum of $524,000 to live comfortably.

Media contact:

Sarah Gibbons
Commonwealth Bank
T: (02) 9118 1706 | M: 0403 681 515