Actuarial Records Retention Policy

Those of you (OK, the rest of you) whose companies have one: would you mind details of it, even if it’s high-level?

We have one. It’s enforced with software, as in, every item stored on any of the system storage (email, as well as other documents) gets a retention category attached to it, and will be automatically deleted when it’s retention expires. Some things have very long retentions. (10+years ) legal holds are retained until explicitly released. Most things inherit a retention from the folder they are in. Stuff that doesn’t get explicitly assigned a retention (like email in your inbox) is generally deleted in a few months.

This is where I wish I had copies of record retention policies from past companies. Some of them were incredibly detailed as to practice area and topic, others were … not as much. I seem to recall generally using 7 year / 10 year retention for ratemaking stuff, 10 year / longer for reserving stuff, and obviously anything annual statement-related was practically “forever.” But, that was also several years back and I’ve jumped companies once or twice since.

If we had something automated, that would be fantastic. We don’t, though, and I don’t like the general approach of “keep it in case someone ever asks.”

I think some things, like illustrations for life policies, have to be kept forever. And pricing info has to be kept until we no longer have policies on that contract, which can be decades.