Leara named to retirement system board

Mike Leara

Mike Leara

Rep. Mike Leara, R-Concord, will help administer an approximately $7 billion retirement fund for state employees and elected officials.

Leara was named last week by House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, to the board of trustees for the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System.

He takes the seat vacated by Rep. Bill Deeken, R-Jefferson City.

“Rep. Leara has both the professional and legislative experience that will make him an invaluable asset to the board,” Tilley stated in a news release. “We’ve made a concerted effort to put our retirement system on a path that is both fiscally responsible and sustainable for the long- term. I am confident Mike Leara is the right person to help us continue that effort while also helping us get the best possible return on our investment.”

Leara serves as the chairman of the House Retirement Committee, which deals with issues related to the retirement and pensions of all state and local officials and employees. Professionally, he has more than 20 years of experience in the field of pension and retirement planning. He currently owns Gateway Advisors LLC, an independent retirement and pension plan consulting firm.

As one of 11 members of the board of trustees, Leara will be responsible for the operation and administration of the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System.

The system administers retirement, life insurance and long-term disability benefits to most state employees, including members of the Missouri General Assembly, elected state officials, judges, and administrative law judges and legal advisers, according to the release.

“I’m excited to bring my professional experience to the table as we work together to sustain the continued financial viability of the state employee retirement system,” Leara stated in the release. “This is an area that has been a passion of mine throughout my life.

“I believe I bring a knowledge base and skill set that will allow me to make meaningful contributions to the board immediately and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to make what has been a very successful retirement plan even more of a success.”