When used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) ACCUMULATED CONTRIBUTIONS. The sum of all the amounts deducted from the compensation of a member credited to his or her individual account in the Judges' and Clerks' Plan, together with regular interest thereon.
(2) ACTUARIAL EQUIVALENT. A benefit of equal value when computed upon the basis of the mortality tables adopted by the Board of Control and regular interest.
(3) ANNUITY. Payments for life derived from the accumulated contributions of a member. All annuities shall be payable in equal monthly installments.
(4) AVERAGE FINAL COMPENSATION. The average annual compensation of a judge or clerk with respect to which he or she had made contributions pursuant to Section 12-18-152 during the five years in his or her last 10 years of membership service for which the average is highest or during his or her entire period of membership service if less than five years.
(5) BENEFICIARY. Any person in receipt of a pension, an annuity, a retirement allowance or other benefit as provided by this article.
(6) BOARD OF CONTROL. The board provided for in Section 36-27-23 to administer the retirement system.
(7) EMPLOYER. The State of Alabama or any department, agency, or local governing body by which a judge or clerk is paid.
(8) FUND. The Judicial Retirement Fund provided for in this chapter.
(9) JUDGE OR CLERK. Any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Civil Appeals, judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, circuit judge, district judge, probate judge, or circuit clerk who is not a member of the Judicial Retirement Fund or Clerks' and Registers' Supernumerary Fund on November 7, 2016 and who is first elected or appointed to his or her position on or after November 8, 2016. This shall not include any judge or clerk who is a member of the Judicial Retirement Fund or Clerks' and Registers' Supernumerary Fund prior to November 8, 2016, regardless of when he or she is first appointed or elected to his or her judicial or clerk position.
(10) MEDICAL BOARD. The board of physicians provided for in Section 36-27-23.
(11) MEMBER. Any judge or clerk included in membership of the plan.
(12) MEMBERSHIP SERVICE. Service as a judge or clerk on account of which contributions are made.
(13) PENSION. Payments for life derived from money provided by the employer. All pensions shall be payable in equal monthly installments.
(14) PLAN. The Judges' and Clerks' Plan provided for in Section 12-18-151.
(15) REGULAR INTEREST. Interest compounded annually at the rate determined by the Board of Control.
(16) RETIREMENT. Withdrawal from active service with a retirement allowance or optional benefit in lieu thereof granted under this article.
(17) RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE. The sum of the annuity and the pension.
(18) RETIREMENT SYSTEM. The Employees' Retirement System of Alabama as defined in Section 36-27-2.