The company should carry out a risk analysis and decide an appropriate retention period. Seven years is often selected, as contract disputes are time-expired after this time. If contracts are being made or altered via email, then email should be kept until the liability expires. Longer retention periods are needed for those regulated industries mandated to keep records for longer periods. Pension advice given via email should, for example, be retained for up to 100 years. It is perfectly acceptable for an organisation to keep all its email for the longest mandated retention period even if ALL email doesn’t need to be preserved for that length of time.

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