Taiping Life launches flagship community for elderly

The insurance company is tapping into the lucrative market for services for the country's rapidly ageing population.

Taiping Life Insurance Co Ltd has launched its flagship community in Shanghai for the elderly as it taps into the burgeoning market for China's rapidly ageing population.

It comes as leading insurance companies compete to sell services to elderly Chinese looking for a quality life and care in retirement.

The number of people over 60 is projected to hit 270 million by 2020 and 450 million by 2050 — at which stage it will be about a third of the population.

Taiping has now opened sales for its 4 billion yuan (US$5.83 million) community, announced in 2014, which is expected to welcome it's first batch of residents next year.

Located in the Pudong New Area, the elderly-care community is capable of providing long-term, high quality living and health care services to about 3,500 residents aged 60 or over in more than 1,500 apartments and nearly 900 beds for rehabilitation and nursing.

Taiping Life clients will be eligible for admission if they have paid a certain amount in premiums. Other would-be residents can pay an entry fee and a monthly management service fee. 

Since China’s top insurance watchdog relaxed restrictions on insurers’ property investments in July 2012, an army of underwriters have been seeking to invest in retirement community projects.

As long-term investments, the retirement community development sector is deemed to be in line with insurance companies’ pursuit of long-term and stable returns, industry insiders said.

In 2012, Taikang Life, a market leader, launched the country’s first high-end endowment product associated with elderly care communities. It also kicked off the country's funded by insurers in the same year.

Media reports suggest insurance companies could directly invest up to 1-3.5 trillion yuan in services for the elderly by 2020.

This month, China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd announced that it will invest up to 10 billion yuan to build high-grade senior care communities during the next three to five years throughout key cities in China.

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