(1) Upon filing an application for benefits with the board, an employee may elect to retire at any time after attaining the age of fifty-five or an employee may retire as a result of disability at any age.
(2) The member shall specify in the application for benefits the manner in which he or she wishes to receive the retirement benefit under the options provided by the County Employees Retirement Act. Payment under the application for benefits shall be made (a) for annuities, no sooner than the annuity start date, and (b) for other distributions, no sooner than the date of final account value.
(3) Payment of any benefit provided under the retirement system may not be deferred later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the employee has both attained at least age seventy and one-half years and terminated his or her employment with the county.
(4) The board shall make reasonable efforts to locate the member or the member's beneficiary and distribute benefits by the required beginning date as specified by section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations issued thereunder. If the board is unable to make such a distribution, the benefit shall be distributed pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act and no amounts may be applied to increase the benefits any member would otherwise receive under the County Employees Retirement Act.
(5) A participant or beneficiary who would have been required to receive required minimum distributions for 2009 but for the enactment of section 401(a)(9)(H) of the Internal Revenue Code, and who would have satisfied that requirement by receiving distributions that are either equal to the 2009 required minimum distributions or one or more payments in a series of substantially equal distributions, including the 2009 required minimum distribution, made at least annually and expected to last for the life or life expectancy of the participant, the joint lives or joint life expectancy of the participant and the participant's designated beneficiary, or for a period of at least ten years, shall receive those distributions for 2009 unless the participant or beneficiary chooses not to receive such distributions. Participants and beneficiaries shall be given the opportunity to elect to stop receiving the distributions described in this subsection.