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Retirement village costs comparison tool project 

NSW Fair Trading is investigating a comparison tool to make it easier for consumers to compare and understand retirement village fees and charges.

Why is a comparison tool needed?

It can be confusing and difficult to assess retirement village costs by comparing village contracts. This is because retirement villages use a wide range of fees and charges, with different timings. Costs may include:

  • one-off fees and charges such as entry, exit and administrative fees
  • regular fees and charges, which may fall due on a different basis (eg. weekly). 

When comparing costs, it is important to take into account all fees and charges that will be payable. For example, one village may have extremely high ‘exit costs’ payable when a resident leaves, which make the overall cost much higher.

A comparison tool would make it easier for prospective residents, their friends and family to more easily calculate the costs of living in different villages.

How will the comparison tool be developed?

Following a competitive tender process, KPMG was selected by Fair Trading to provide a solution that will make retirement village fees and charges easier to compare.

This solution will need to be user-friendly for prospective residents and their advisors who may have varying levels of financial awareness. It will also need to take into account the different offerings available in the market.

KPMG will seek input from retirement village residents, village operators and stakeholder organisations to fully understand the retirement village sector and the different fees and charges used. A range of options will be explored and tested with residents and operators to ensure they are effective and suitable.

Next steps

KPMG is due to present their findings and recommendations to Fair Trading later this year.