Feedback sought on retirement village exit payments

The Queensland Government is seeking community feedback on the recommendations of an independent report into timeframes for exit payments in Queensland retirement villages, and the government’s response.

Communities and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said retirement village residents, operators and stakeholders could have their say and help shape the Queensland Government’s implementation of the recommendations.

“It is important to get this right, so we are seeking feedback from those who are engaged with retirement villages in any way, about the benefits, costs and implementation challenges of the recommendations,” she said.

Ms Enoch said an independent review was required to start two years after commencement of changes to the Retirement Villages Act 1999, to determine the impact of the changes on residents, former residents, families of residents, and operators.

The report includes four recommendations about the ongoing operation of exit entitlements and buybacks.

The recommendations are:

  1. To reduce the timeframe for payment of exit entitlements and buybacks from 18 to 12 months, with a modification of how that timeframe commences;
  2. To set six months as the maximum period that may be granted to an operator as an extension and to broaden the grounds on which an extension can be granted;
  3. To create a simple and accessible mechanism for extension applications, to be decided by the Director-General of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy; and
  4. To exclude resident-operated freehold retirement villages from mandatory buybacks.

The additional recommendations were in relation to ongoing service fees, moving to a residential aged care facility and rent advances.

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government fully or partly accepted the first three recommendations, but consultation would be needed to ensure they are implemented in the best possible way.

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