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Data retention of former clients

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I was just curious what other TPA's might do regards to maintaining data for former clients. When do you delete it? Do you provide terms of deletion in your service agreement? What about long standing clients whose agreements never referenced a deletion policy?

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As you’ve reasoned, the key is having clear provisions in your service agreement.  (And if a client’s agreement lacks those provisions, amend or restate the agreement.)

A few of the many points one might consider:

nn.nn      Records after the end of this Agreement

For records XYZ did not deliver to you (or, as you Instructed, to a Service Provider), XYZ will use commercially reasonable efforts to keep XYZ’s records about the Plan for {number} years after the end of this Agreement.  During that period, you may Instruct XYZ to deliver records to you (or to the Service Provider you Instruct).  XYZ will deliver XYZ’s records you request if you have paid the amount XYZ estimates as XYZ’s expenses for reproducing and delivering the records.

A service agreement might promise how long the service provider keeps something.  But unless a service agreement also obligates the service provider to destroy records, how long one keeps and when one destroys records would be set by the service provider’s internal records-retention-and-destruction procedure.

As always, this is not advice to anyone, and you’ll want your lawyer’s advice.

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