Nevada pharmacy board employees get 50% retirement match, elicit concerns of overcompensation

The Nevada Board of Pharmacy has increased its contribution to employees' retirement funds to a 50 percent match, drawing criticism from some as these employees enjoy a surplus of public funds amid the pandemic that has caused financial hardship for many, according to Nevada Current.

The increase, which went into effect Jan. 1 and was paid to employees in a lump sum in May, ensures that the board will match 50 cents to every dollar its 457 employees put into their retirement funds. This comes after an increase from 10 percent to 30 percent last year.

The board is funded by licensing fees and like many other regulatory agencies, it can autonomously decide how to match funds.

"For a point of reference, the typical employer 401(k) contribution rate for private-sector workers is between 3 to 6 percent, so the 50 percent rate adopted by the Board is extremely excessive," Robert Fellner of the Nevada Policy Research Institute told Nevada Current. "The fact that this benefit is provided in addition to [the Public Employee Retirement System] makes clear that this is a simple giveaway of public money so that Board employees can profit at the public's expense."

Whistleblowers are working to identify records from board meetings when the increase was discussed, but have not discovered any yet. They are also investigating four of the board's highest salaries, which appear to violate a state law capping pay at 95 percent of the governor's salary.

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