Any other provisions in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, it is specifically provided that:
(1) The purpose of this chapter is to provide pension benefits for the exclusive benefit of the member employees or their beneficiaries.
(2) No part of the principal or income of the trust fund created hereunder shall be used or diverted for purposes other than for the exclusive benefit of the member employees or their beneficiaries and for the payment of administrative cost.
(3) Forfeitures, if any, shall not be applied to increase the benefits any member employee would otherwise receive under this chapter.
(4) Upon termination or partial termination, upon discontinuance of contributions, abandonment, or merger, or upon consolidation or amendment of this chapter, the rights of all affected employees to benefits accrued as of the date of any of the foregoing events, or the amounts credited to the account of any member employee, shall be and continue thereafter to be nonforfeitable except as otherwise provided by law.
(5) No benefit hereunder shall exceed the maximum amount allowable by law for qualified pension plans under existing or hereafter-enacted provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States.
(6) The compensation limits established by s. 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code prior to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, and adjusted for changes in the cost of living since 1989, in the manner provided by s. 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1991, were part of the State and County Officers’ and Employees’ Retirement System on July 1, 1993.
(7) Except as otherwise provided herein, the provisions of this section are declaratory of the legislative intent upon the original enactment of this chapter and are hereby deemed to have been in effect from such date.