(a) Subject to the provisions of section twelve-a of this article, an employee attaining fifty-five years of age, may elect to take retirement by notifying the board or its designee in writing of his or her intention to retire. The notice of retirement must be received by the board or its designee no fewer than sixty days prior to the effective date of retirement. Retirement payments shall commence within thirty days of the retirement date under the payment option selected by the employee.
(b) An alternate payee named in a qualified domestic relations order may elect to receive a distribution awarded from this plan. If the alternate payee elects, the board or its designee shall promptly compute the amount due without regard to whether the employee is receiving benefits at the time of election. After the amount due has been computed, the board shall promptly initiate payments to the alternate payee.
(c) For purposes of this section, the term "qualified domestic relations order" means a "qualified domestic relations order" as defined in Section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to government plans.