Any member shall, at any time after reaching the age of 52 and completion of at least 15 years' qualified service or the completion of 25 years of qualified service, regardless of age, be entitled to an annuity benefit.
The amount of the monthly benefit shall be determined by the board of commissioners in an amount recommended by the actuary for the fund. The benefit shall begin upon approval by the board on the date of the member's application for the benefits on forms provided by the board, but in no event shall the benefit begin prior to his or her termination of service as a peace officer. The benefits shall be paid for the life of the member, except as otherwise provided in this section.
There shall accompany any application made pursuant to this section evidence satisfactory to the board of the date of birth of the member. If any member receiving retirement benefits reenters employment as a peace officer, as defined in Section 36-21-60, then the payment of retirement benefits shall be terminated as long as he or she is so employed. Upon termination of his or her reemployment as a peace officer, the benefits will resume if during the period of reemployment he or she has made all required monthly payments to the fund. Any employment as a peace officer after the initial retirement and during which the payments are made to the fund shall be included in the computation of membership service for the purpose of determining further rights and benefits under this section.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article to the contrary, an active and contributing member of the fund may purchase service credit in the fund for prior service rendered as a full-time peace officer within this state which would have qualified at the time for membership in the fund. The prior service credit may be claimed at any time prior to the date of termination of his or her active service as a full-time peace officer by making a lump-sum payment in the amount of the full actuarially determined cost for each year of prior service credit purchased as determined by the actuary for the fund.