(1) Any member with five or more years of creditable service, excluding years of prior service acquired pursuant to section 79-990, 79-991, 79-994, 79-995, or 79-997, who becomes totally disabled for further performance of duty on or after March 22, 2000, may be approved for deferred disability retirement by the board of trustees. In the case of such deferred disability retirement, the member, during the period specified in subsection (3) of this section, shall be credited with creditable service for each year or portion thereof, to be determined in accordance with policies of the board of trustees governing creditable service, that the member defers retirement, up to a maximum of thirty-five years of total creditable service, including creditable service accrued before the member became totally disabled. The member approved for deferred disability retirement may at any time of the member's choosing request the deferral to end and retirement annuity payments to begin. The retirement annuity of such member shall be based on the total number of years of the member's creditable service, including the years credited to the member during his or her total disability under this section, and the member's final average salary as of the date that the member became totally disabled and as adjusted from such date by a percentage equal to the cumulative percentage cost-of-living adjustments that were made or declared for annuities in pay status pursuant to section 79-9,103 after the date of the approval of the board of trustees for deferred disability retirement and before the cessation of the accrual of additional creditable service pursuant to subsection (3) of this section. Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the retirement annuity so determined for the member shall be payable to the member without reduction due to any early commencement of benefits, except that the retirement annuity shall be reduced by the amount of any periodic payments to such employee as workers' compensation benefits. Additional creditable service acquired through deferred disability retirement shall apply to the service requirements specified in section 79-9,106. The board of trustees shall consider a member to be totally disabled when it has received an application by the member and a statement by at least two licensed and practicing physicians designated by the board of trustees certifying that the member is totally and presumably permanently disabled and unable to perform his or her duties as a consequence thereof.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the payment of the retirement annuity of a member may not be deferred later than the member's required beginning date as defined in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in section 49-801.01. If the payment of a disabled member's retirement annuity is required to commence before the member has elected to end his or her deferred disability retirement, the amount of benefit that would have accrued pursuant to subsection (1) of this section in the fiscal year of the member's required beginning date, and in each subsequent fiscal year through the year of the member's election to end the deferred disability retirement period, shall be reduced, but not below zero, by the actuarial equivalent of the payments which were paid to the member during each such fiscal year and after the member's required beginning date. The retirement annuity of any member that commences before the end of the member's deferred disability retirement shall be adjusted as of each September 1 pursuant to the requirements of this subsection.
(3) The accrual of creditable service and any adjustment of final average salary provided in subsection (1) of this section shall begin from the first day of the month following the date of the first of the two examinations by which the member is determined by the board of trustees to be totally disabled, shall continue only so long as the member does not receive any wages or compensation for services, and shall end at the earlier of (a) the time total disability ceases as determined by the board of trustees or (b) the date the member elects to end the deferred disability retirement and begin to receive his or her retirement annuity. The board of trustees may require periodic proof of disability but not more frequently than semiannually.
(4)(a) For an employee hired prior to July 1, 2018, the payment of any retirement annuity to a disabled member, which begins to be paid under this section (i) before the member's sixty-second birthday or (ii) at a time before the sum of the member's attained age and creditable service is eighty-five or more, shall be suspended if the board of trustees determines at any time before the member's sixty-second birthday that the member's total disability has ceased.
(b) For an employee hired on or after July 1, 2018, the payment of any retirement annuity to a disabled member, which begins to be paid under this section (i) before the member's sixty-fifth birthday or (ii) at a time before the sum of the member's attained age and creditable service is eighty-five or more, shall be suspended if the board of trustees determines at any time before the member's sixty-fifth birthday that the member's total disability has ceased.
(c) Payment of the retirement annuity of such member as determined under this section shall recommence at the member's early retirement date or normal retirement date but shall be subject to reduction at such time as specified in section 79-9,100.