Each probate judge holding office in the several counties of Alabama on or after December 27, 1973, and prior to October 1, 1976, shall have a right to elect to come under the provisions of Article 1 of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Each such probate judge who elects to come under the provisions of article 1 of this chapter shall, prior to the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January, 1977, file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Alabama, the county commission of the county in which each such probate judge serves and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Employees' Retirement System of Alabama an instrument in writing electing to come under the provisions of Article 1 of this chapter.
Each probate judge elected or appointed to office after October 1, 1976, shall come under the provisions of Article 1 of this chapter as a matter of law.
The Supreme Court of Alabama may provide that the state shall pick up member contributions to the Judicial Retirement Fund, as required by Sections 12-18-5 and 12-18-52, on behalf of all appellate justices or judges, circuit and district judges who participate in the Judicial Retirement Fund and that the counties shall pick up member contributions to the Judicial Retirement Fund, as required by this section, on behalf of all probate judges who participate in the Judicial Retirement Fund, by a corresponding reduction in the salary of the member, such picking up to be mandatory for all such judges, and the contributions so picked up shall be treated as employer contributions in determining tax treatment under the Internal Revenue Code. These contributions shall be paid from the same source of funds which is used in paying earnings to the member. If member contributions are so picked up they shall be treated for all other purposes of state law in the same manner and to the same extent as member contributions made prior to the date picked up.