It’s a fair bet that those making most contributions to super are still workers, especially the over-50s.
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Figures from SuperChoice, which administers super contributions between employers and employees, show just how tight the link is between voluntary contributions and age.

SuperChoice analysed its data on super payments and broke the data down for salary sacrifice contributions by age cohort for the five years to June 30, 2016.

What the data reveals is the extent to which younger workers generally don’t contribute and how little is contributed by those younger workers who do.

Those in their 60s who salary sacrificed, sacrificed about $12,000 on average, a year, while those in their 20s sacrificed $2300.

For the age cohorts in-between, it is as expected with the amount increasing with age.

SuperChoice figures show 13 per cent of fund members in their 50s made salary sacrifice contributions to their super, while almost 17 per cent of those in their 60s salary sacrificed.

Less than 3 per cent of 30-somethings made salary sacrifice contributions and only one in 100 of those their 20s made contributions.

Research by the Association of Superannuation Funds of (ASFA) shows those younger than 29 reckon they will need $625,000, on average, for a comfortable retirement, while those aged 60 years expect they will need nearly $1 million.

There are all sorts of estimates of how much is needed, ranging up to $2 million for a professional couple who are used to a more expensive lifestyle.

As I have written, actuary Milliman has analysed real-world expenditure data of more than 300,000 n retirees, which shows those aged 65 to 69 spend a median of $31,068 a person each year.

Milliman estimates that to fund this expenditure with 75 per cent certainty would require a super balance of about $130,000 invested in a balanced superannuation investment option.

This figure takes into account the substantial contribution of the age pension, set at a maximum of $20,745 a year, including the energy supplement, which funds a substantial portion of most retirees’ spending.

As Milliman alluded to in a recent article, the problem is that people are likely to become disengaged when confronted with a big number, as they lose all hope of achieving it.

“This isn’t to say that $130,000 should be a goal – it shows that even small differences in savings can have a hugely positive impact on members’ actual retirement lifestyles,” Milliman says in the article.

You would want more, as it’s 75 per cent certainly of funding expenditure, based on the history of markets.

And those renting in retirement are likely to need a lot more, especially those living in our most expensive cities.

But it is more of a realistic target. It makes saving for retirement more of a molehill to be climbed than a mountain to be scaled.

Follow John Collett on Twitter. ???

Lucas Papaw, Blackmores and Bundaberg Ginger Beer
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Lucas Papaw, Blackmores and Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Lucas’ Papaw, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Blackmores. If not household items, these brands are certainly easy to find in pharmacies and supermarkets across .

All three businesses are still family owned.

Their number of employees range from 30 to more than 1000, but John McLean, chief executive of famous ginger beer brewer Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, said larger didn’t always mean more important.

“You’d be stunned at what is a family business,” Mr McLean said.

“They are the engine room of our economy: they may not get the publicity constantly that the ASX-listed companies get, but family business is the bread and butter.”

Here’s how these once small Queensland businesses grew to have international profiles.???It got a cult following and just went crazy’

Lucas’ Papaw is instantly recognisable for its red packaging. Today it’s most commonly used for chapped lips, but manager Lynette Swinglehurst said that’s not how the ointment was originally marketed.

“It’s always been one of those staples in our medicine cabinet ??? we used to only sell into chemists,” she said.

Since its invention in the early 1900s by Ms Swinglehurst’s great-great-grandfather, Lucas’ Papaw has been used predominantly as a treatment for rashes, burns and other aches and pains.

Never advertised much – when her grandmother May Talbot ran the business, Ms Swinglehurst said it was sold door-to-door – the product became hugely popular after another use for the ointment was found.

“About 15 years ago it was used – and I still remember the phone call – used by a make-up artist on McLeod’s Daughters,” she said.

“She rang me and said it was good for keeping eyebrows in place and gloss on lips.”

Ms Swinglehurst said she was “blown away” by the product’s cosmetic use, and how it then took off.

“Before we knew it, it just turned into this ‘thing’. It got a cult following and just went crazy,” she said.

“Half the people buying it probably don’t realise it has this medicinal purpose as well.”

With requests to put Lucas’ Papaw in a tube, the family started off with a second-hand tube-filling machine before realising, quite quickly, that was not going to keep up with the demand.

“At that stage, we only really had it in pharmacies,” she said.

The Dreamworld theme park tragedy has hit the local hotel sector, with ‘s largest listed resort and hotel operator Mantra Group reporting “challenging” conditions on the Gold Coast, although the group’s net profit was still up nearly 23 per cent on the previous year to 45.6 million.
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Mantra Group chief executive Bob East revealed a strong overall performance with a 1.8 per cent increase in occupancy and revenue growth of 13.7 per cent to $689 million driven by a large portfolio of new acquisitions.

“The greatest momentum for our business this year has been in capacity building in new pipeline acquisitions for FY18 and beyond,” Mr East said.

But Mr East singled out the Dreamworld tragedy, “sluggish” markets in Perth, Brisbane and Darwin and a “surprisingly” flat Melbourne market as areas of concern.

The Gold Coast – which accounts for nearly a quarter of Mantra’s accommodation business (5000-plus rooms) – was an “under-performer”.

“That can most probably be related to the tragedy at Dreamworld and the flow-on effects of that,” he said. “It’s been a challenging market.”

Growth in revenue per average room (RevPAR) – the industry’s income metric – on the Gold Coast was just 2.1 per cent, “quite significantly below where we thought Gold Coast would be at the outset of the year”, he said.

By contrast, Mantra’s strongest leisure market was the Sunshine Coast, where RevPAR growth was up 11.7 per cent. Strong domestic and Asian tourism were the key drivers.

Mr East said the outlook for the Gold Coast was improving, particularly with the imminent arrival of the Commonwealth Games early next year.

“It’s not a market we are nervous about in any shape or form. We’re very positive about the outlook looking forward,” he said.

Mantra Group’s existing hotel portfolio covers 128 properties with more than 21,500 rooms under management in , New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii under the Peppers, Mantra and Breakfree brands.

In the CBD markets, Sydney’s RevPAR rose 6.5 per cent and Canberra was a particularly strong performer with RevPAR jumping 10 per cent.

“The biggest surprise was the Melbourne market [being] flat for the year,” he said.

The lack of significant major events resulted in flat RevPAR despite Melbourne’s occupancy running at close to 90 per cent, he said.

Perth, Brisbane and Darwin were all experiencing cyclical downturns.

“We see those markets as continuing to be sluggish,” he said.

Mr East said the group was focusing on establishing the Peppers brand in all of ‘s capital cities, integrating its $52.5 million purchase of the Art Series Hotels, which it finalised in August, and bedding down the acquisition of the Ala Moana resort in Hawaii.

Mantra will retain the Art Series Brand despite a policy of aligning acquisitions under one of its three umbrella hotel brands.

Mr East said the seven luxury lifestyle hotels named after contemporary n artists had enough scale and consumer awareness to stand alone.

“We were able to form a plan that will protect existing positioning in the market,” he said.

Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss has backed three of his rising stars to ride a gold medal wave into the WNBL season and boost the team’s hopes of breaking a finals hoodoo.
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Capitals Lauren Sherf, Abbey Wehrung and Keely Froling helped the emerging n Opals win gold at the world university games in Taipei on Tuesday morning.

The Opals beat Japan 85-76 in the final in a timely boost for the Capitals before the WNBL campaign starts in October.

“International experience always helps when coming back to play domestically, so I just think the confidence they will take out of being major minute players can only benefit the us,” Goriss said.

“All three of them are going to be important parts of our team, its great for those three girls to go away and represent to win a gold medal.”

“Im sure they are going to have plenty of confidence coming into this season, fired up and in great shape ready to go.”

The Capitals have rebuilt their roster as the club aims to break back into the finals for the first time since 2011.

Goriss has put his faith in a number young guns and is confident they can rise to the challenge to force their way into the top four.

Scherf is one of those on the rise and she scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, had four steals and made four blocks in a stellar effort in the final.

???”I love playing sport because of the people I meet and the fun I have playing so to have won a gold medal is just a blessing on top of that,” Scherf said.

“I’m just so happy for myself and all of the girls – we have a gold medal and I have no words on how to describe it.”

Goriss, who is also a senior n Opals assistant coach, said the success in Taipei was proof of a strong development pathway for junior girls.

“It is exciting for the future of womens basketball in ,” Goriss said.

“Most of the girls that are in that emerging Opals team as well as the three that are apart of the Capitals are on a depth chart with the Opals.

“It was great for that team [emerging Opals] to get a win and most of those girls are future Opals.”

???The Capitals start their WNBL season against Bendigo in Canberra on October 6.

Cathy Tate
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The Newcastle Art Gallery redevelopment is being pushed as an election issue, with a cultural group asking lord mayoral candidates where they stand on the controversial issue.

Aquestionnaire has been sent out by former ladymayoress Cathy Tate, from the Save Our Cultural Institutions group and an advocate of the gallery’s redevelopment, which has dragged on for a decade.

Five lord mayoral candidates have responded.

Mrs Tate said the group was seeking the candidates’ views on the art gallery’s future, because “it’s certainly an issue for some people in the electorate”.

The document poses three questions.The first asks, if elected, would the candidate support the gallery’s redevelopment, according to a designpresented to council in 2013.

The second asks, “Do you agree that your role as a Councillor includes the responsibility of, care for, and development of the Newcastle Art Gallery?”

The third poseswhether the candidate would ensure that the council “contributes substantially” to the gallery’s redevelopment. The present design is estimated to cost about $26 million.

Labor candidate Nuatali Nelmes answered “yes” to all three questions, as did the Socialist Alliance’s Steve O’Brien, The Greens’ Therese Doyleand Independent Ron Brown.

Independent Kath Elliott answered “yes” to question two but qualified her other answers. KathElliott said she hadn’t seen the plans, but “I am aware that the design has been looked at with the view to staging the implementation and I support tackling Stage 1 as soon as it can be funded”. To question three, she indicatedany contribution to the redevelopment should be “in line with community priorities”.

Cathy Tate said the questionnaire results werebeing sent to about 200 people in Save Our Cultural Institutions and the art gallery’s society and foundation.

“For those who want to know where the candidates stand, this will give a clear indication of those who supportthe redevelopment, and those who don’t,” she said.

In her coverletter to the candidates, Mrs Tate said the building was 40 years old and housed a collection worth more than $90 million, “the single most valuable asset of Newcastle City Council”.