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MAVA Voice

Records Retention Policy
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We are in the midst of updating our agency wide records retention policy for all documents including client information, donors, volunteers, etc. We would love to learn from other organizations and how long they retain records. Below you'll find our current draft policy. If you're willing, could you share the record retention policy for your organization?




Draft June 2019





It is the policy of VEAP, Inc. (“VEAP”) to comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to the retention of records, and to promptly dispose of business records that have outlived their original usefulness and do not require further retention by law, regulation, rule, or other business practice. 


                The retention requirements listed in the retention schedule below may not address all of the different types of records that VEAP may be required to keep in the future.  Questions regarding the retention of documents not listed in this schedule should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer.  This policy shall be reviewed periodically as provided in Section 4 below and updated as necessary by the Board of Directors to reflect changing retention requirements and the addition of other categories of records.


This policy is intended to allow for flexibility for the retention of records beyond the specified periods of time when there are special needs such as in the case of pending, threatened, or otherwise reasonably foreseeable litigation, audits, government investigations, or similar proceedings.  In such circumstances, the Chief Executive Officer or the President may issue a notice, known as a “legal hold,” suspending the destruction of records.  No records specified in any legal hold may be destroyed, even if the scheduled destruction date has passed, until the legal hold is withdrawn in writing by the Chief Executive Officer or President with the advice of counsel.


File Category                           Item                                                                                        Retention Period


Corporate                                Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation                                      Permanent


                                                Corporate resolutions                                                             Permanent


                                                Board and committee meeting minutes                                Permanent


                                                Policies and procedures                                                          Permanent


                                                Conflict of interest disclosure forms                                      4 years




Finance and                            Financial statements (audited)                                              Permanent


                                                Auditor management letters                                                 Permanent


                                                Legal correspondence                                                             Permanent


                                                Audit work papers                                                                  7 years


                                                Donation receipts                                                                   7 years


                                                Check register and checks                                                      7 years


                                                Bank deposits and statements                                               7 years


                                                Chart of accounts                                                                    7 years


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                                                General ledgers and journals (includes bank recs)                7 years                                   


                                                                Investment performance reports                                           7 years


                                                        Accounts payable files                                                        7 years


                                                        Accounts receivable ledgers                                             7 years  


                                                Inventory records                                                                   7 years                                                                                                                                                                   

Equipment files and maintenance records                            7 years after disposition


                                                Contracts and agreements                                                     7 years after all obligations end


                                                Correspondence-general                                                        3 years


                                                Payroll records                                                                        3 years   




Insurance                                Policies – occurrence type                                                      Permanent


                                                Policies – Claims-made type                                                   Permanent


                                                Accident reports                                                                     7 years


                                                Safety (OSHA) reports                                                            7 years


                                                Claims (after settlement)                                                       7 years


                                                Group disability records                                                         7 years after end of benefits


                                                Certification of insurance for contractors/ vendors               7 years from policy expiration




Real Estate                              Deeds                                                                                      Permanent


                                                Leases (expired)                                                                      7 years after all obligations end


                                                Mortgages, security agreements                                           7 years after all obligations end




Tax                                          IRS exemption determination and                                         Permanent

                                                related correspondence


                                                IRS Form 990s                                                                         Permanent


                                                Sales & Use tax records                                                          7 years   


                                                Charitable Organizations Registration                                   7 years

                                                Statements (files with MN Attorney General)



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Human                                    Employee personnel files                                                       Permanent


                                                Retirement plan benefits (plan                                              Permanent

                                                descriptions, plan documents)              


                                                Employee handbooks                                                              Permanent


Workers comp claims (after settlement)                               7 years


                                                Withholding tax statements                                                  7 years


                                                Employee orientation and training material                         7 years after use ends


                                                W-2 & W-4 forms                                                                   7 years after employment ends


                                                IRS Form I-9 (store separate from personnel file)                 Greater of 1 year after end of

                                                                                                                                                service, or 3 years


                                                Employment applications                                                       3 years


                                                        Timecards                                                                               3 years




Technology                             Software licenses and support agreements                          7 years after all obligations end




Volunteers                              Civil Rights Training forms                                                      7 years


                                                Financial Equivalents                                                              7 years




Programs                                TEFAP/ Client history forms – Basic Needs                            7 years


                                                Data Privacy/ Tennessen warning – Social Services              7 years


                                                Annual Statistics                                                                     7 years




Grants                                     Grant documents                                                                    7 years after completion of grant period




Facility                                    Shelter in place/ Fire evacuation/ Run Hide Fight                 3 years

                                                drill evaluation, and attendance forms








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  1. Electronic Documents and Records.


Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents.  Therefore, any electronic files that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time.  Electronic mail that is not an official VEAP record (such as routine messages that are used as substitute for informal conversations) should be deleted from both the sender and recipients’ computer files as soon as it is no longer needed.  If a user has sufficient reason to keep an electronic mail message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder.  Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.



  1. Emergency Planning.


VEAP’s records will be stored in a safe, secure, and accessible manner.  Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping VEAP operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off-site.  Records no longer needed for day-to-day operations may be archived and transferred to a records retention facility for the remaining applicable minimum retention period.



  1. Document Destruction.


The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying records which have met the required retention period, and overseeing their destruction.  Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.


Document destruction of any relevant records will be suspended immediately upon notification of any “legal hold,” and will be reinstated only upon notice to that effect by the Chief Executive Officer or President with the advice of counsel.



  1. Compliance.


Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against VEAP and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals.  The Chief Executive Officer and President will periodically review this policy with legal counsel or VEAP’s certified public accountants to ensure that it is in compliance with new or revised regulations.



  1. MN Statute Licensed Social Worker.


Subd. 4.Records


(a) A social worker must make and maintain current and accurate records, appropriate to the circumstances, of all services provided to a client. At a minimum, the records must contain documentation of:

(1) the assessment or diagnosis;

(2) the content of the service plan;

(3) progress with the plan and any revisions of assessment, diagnosis, or plan;

(4) any fees charged and payments made;


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(5) copies of all client-written authorizations for release of information; and

(6) other information necessary to provide appropriate services.

(b) These records must be maintained by the social worker for at least (7) years after the last date of service to the client. Social workers who are employed by an agency or other entity are not required to:

(1) maintain personal or separate records; or

(2) personally retain records at the conclusion of their employment.

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