Retirement village law reforms
Outcome of consultation and recommendations
Between 2012 and 2016 significant changes were made to retirement villages’ legislation in Western Australia (WA) following the Statutory Review of Retirement Villages Legislation Final Report, November 2010 (Final Report) (stage one reforms). Many of these changes were focused on providing the consumer with more information when deciding whether to enter into a retirement village agreement, as well as making changes to residence contracts and budget and financial reporting requirements. The further reform process was required to implement the balance of the reforms of the Final Report and also to address issues that had arisen since stage one (stage two reforms).
The stage two reform process commenced in August 2019 with the release of the first consultation paper (CRIS 1), focused on improving consumers’ understanding of the retirement village product and its price. CRIS 2 was released in December 2019 and focused on operator obligations such as payment of exit entitlements, capital works funding, refurbishment and rules of conduct. CRIS 3 was released in March 2020 and focused on clarifying when the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (WA) (RV Act) applies. CRIS 4 was released in June 2021 and focused on managing significant changes to a retirement village.
Feedback has also been obtained in other ways, including surveys, discussions and roundtable meetings with peak bodies in the sector, engagement with other government agencies, and interested organisations.
In 2021, Consumer Protection engaged the Western Australian Treasury Corporation to assess the financial impact of proposals in CRIS 2 to introduce a time limit for exit entitlement payments on the retirement village industry. The conclusions from this assessment have informed final recommendations on this issue.
The Western Australian Treasury Corporation (WATC) report assesses the financial impact of proposed time limits for payment of exit entitlements to former retirement village residents. The WATC report includes results from an industry survey.
Outcome of consultation - Decision Regulatory Impact Statement
The Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS) recommends amendments to the RV Act based on the CRIS proposals and feedback to the consultation. The DRIS addresses five overarching categories for reform:
- Information disclosure recommends reforms to improve the way operators provide information to consumers about the retirement village product. The proposals also aim to streamline pre-contractual disclosure requirements to make this process clearer for both residents and industry.
- Exit entitlements recommends reforms to make arrangements for the payment of exit entitlements to former residents fairer.
- Life in the village recommends reforms to improve consumer protections around the management of the retirement village by the operator, the financial arrangements for the operations of the village and the maintenance of capital items in the village.
- Village land recommends reforms to clarify the memorial requirements to ensure that a resident’s interests is protected, while at the same time ensuring that there is flexibility for operators to make changes to village land.
- Village changes recommends reforms to establish a process for operators to make significant changes to a retirement village, subject to safeguards for residents.
Decision Impact Regulatory Summary report
The DRIS has been published in two versions:
- A DRIS summary report of the feedback received in the consultation and the recommendations
- a complete DRIS containing the full detail of the submissions and regulatory impact analysis
A bill containing the proposed amendments to the RV Act will be prepared for introduction into Parliament. Further targeted consultation will occur during this process.
How can I receive updates?
Bulletins are sent out to keep stakeholders informed on updates or changes. To be added to our list you can:
Documents and resources
- Decision Regulatory Impact Statement
- summary – provides a condensed version of the feedback received in the consultation and the key recommendations.
- full report – provides a full analysis of reform options and makes recommendations for change.
- Western Australian Treasury Corporation report – analysis covers the financial impacts of proposed exit entitlement reforms and provides information about retirement villages in WA.
- CRIS 4 - Managing changes to a retirement village
- CRIS 3 - Clarifying when the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (WA) applies
- CRIS 2 - Operator responsibilities
- CRIS 1 - Retirement village product and price
Enquiries can be made by calling Consumer Protection Contact Centre on 1300 304 054 or by email.
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