Public retirement register goes live in New South Wales

Last updated on 29 January 2024

Killara, Sydney, Australia — November 26, 2020. Aerial daytime view of the green leafy Killara suburb, houses and backyards near Killara Golf Club [Source: Andrew Atkinson via Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • Fair Trading New South Wales maintains a register of the retirement villages located across NSW
  • Soon-to-be retirees can search for a retirement village by name or operator Australian Business Number or search by suburb or postcode for all retirement villages in an area
  • 140,000 people retired in 2020, with an average age of 64.3 years

People in New South Wales who plan to retire have a new tool at their disposal courtesy of the NSW Government’s Department of Customer Service and Fair Trading NSW.

A public register of retirement villages was released on January 29, listing the names, addresses and details of villages operating within the state.

The public register is part of the NSW Government’s reforms to the retirement villages sector to provide greater protections for consumers and improve transparency and accountability in the retirement village industry.

It includes information about the village such as residency types, entry price and ongoing costs to bring greater transparency and empower consumers to make informed decisions.

Having this information publicly available and easily accessible online gives existing and future residents more certainty on the costs of living in a retirement village.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Natasha Mann prompted the release of the public register following an inquiry in 2017 that evaluated the sector.

“Choosing a retirement village can be a stressful time for both the retiree and the family and this register helps answer some key questions about the financial position of the village in an accessible way,” Ms Mann said.

“As more consumers use this public register for open discussions with villages, the providers will also see the benefits of ensuring their information is up to date.”

Previous changes included improved access to exit entitlements, making the transition to aged care easier, capping the period residents paid recurrent charges for general services and requiring operators to maintain and publish an asset management plan for each retirement village they manage.

When applying to a retirement village in NSW, a village is required to send the applicant an enquiry document within 14 days of the initial enquiry and outline the terms of tenancy in a residential village. Interested applicants can also use the NSW Fair Trading retirement village calculator — both general and detailed — to receive an estimate of the associated tenancy cost.

Information about residential tenancy is available through the NSW Fair Trading website, along with information about the obligations of providers.

Prospective retirees can also use the Aged Care Guide Retirement Village locator to find information and detailed listings about operators across Australia and determine the residential location that is suited to their needs.

Retirement living does differ from supported living in one clear way — the availability of personal care and support services in your home.

Generally, retirement villages don’t provide assistance at home as they are designed for independent living for the over-55 community.

In some cases, the village you choose may have an aged care or home care part of the business that can assist you with the care and support you need — but it is not a regular part of a retirement village offering.

You can accept assistance within your retirement village home from other providers of home care and support.

These communities are often designed as semi-enclosed villages, but can also include multi-level complexes, units and apartments. The dwelling you purchase or rent is paid for in full by yourself and is not government-funded or subsidised. 

Payment will need to be made for provider management and maintenance costs. You can learn more through the DPS Publishing guide via Aged Care Guide online.

Do you wish to retire at home or would you prefer the company and convenience of a retirement village? Let the team at Your Retirement Living know and subscribe to the newsletter for more information, news and industry updates.

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