Our policy as well as the BSA reg requires us to retain a copy of each SAR filed, and its supporting documentation, for 5 years from the date of filing.
I stick to that schedule precisely, as I believe it reduces risks of various types, for us to intentionally avoid hanging on to BSA information for longer than required by law and policy. (For instance I don't wait till year-end to delete 5-year-old CTRs; instead I do it once a month. When a subpoena asks for the past 7 years of CTRs, I can truly respond that record retention is 5 years, and anything older than that is unavailable because it has been destroyed and deleted. Likewise our exam risk is lowered by having a strictly-followed 5-year retention on BSA records including CTRs, SARs, monetary instrument records, etc. I'm sure many of you would disagree, but that isn't what I'm really asking about here; this is more of a "what does 5 years mean" question...)
Question: We filed a SAR 5 years ago. Clearly that SAR is outside of record retention. But then 4 years and 9 months ago, we performed a documented review to determine whether a continuing SAR would be required, and we determined no follow-up report would be made.
In your shop do you delete that SAR case once the SAR itself hits five years? Or would you hang onto it until the 90-day follow-up or follow-ups had hit a final negative decision (no SAR to be filed) and that decision ages to five years?