(a) Normal retirement. -- A member whose annuity starting date is the date the member attains normal retirement age or later is entitled to his or her accrued retirement benefit based on years of service and final average salary at termination of employment.
(b) Early retirement. -- A member who ceases covered employment and has attained early retirement age while in covered employment may elect to receive retirement income payments commencing on the first day of the month coincident with or following the date the member ceases covered employment. "Normal retirement age" for such a member is the first day of the calendar month coincident with or next following the month in which the member attains the age of fifty years. If the member's annuity starting date is prior to the date the member attains normal retirement age, his or her accrued benefit is reduced to the actuarial equivalent benefit amount based on the years and months by which his or her annuity starting date precedes the date he or she attains normal retirement age.
(c) Retirement benefits shall be paid monthly in an amount equal to one twelfth of the retirement income payments elected and at those times established by the board. Notwithstanding any other provision of the plan, a member who is married on the annuity starting date will receive his or her retirement income payments in the form of a sixty-six and two-thirds percent joint and survivor annuity with his or her spouse unless prior to the annuity starting date the spouse waives the form of benefit.