Section 19B. (1) The state treasurer shall withhold from the monthly pension, annuity, or retirement allowance of every member of the teachers' retirement system or surviving spouse, unless such member or surviving spouse specifically elects to prohibit such withholding, an amount equal to the premium payable to the treasurer of the governmental unit for benefits provided under the provisions of chapter thirty-two B. Said withholding shall be in accordance with a schedule submitted by the teachers' retirement board based on premium information supplied to said retirement board by the treasurer of the governmental unit to which the group policy under which such member or spouse is insured was issued. The amount withheld shall be paid quarterly by the state treasurer to the treasurer of each governmental unit.
(2) The treasurer of the governmental unit shall file with said retirement board no later than May first of each year a list of the names, social security numbers, and costs of the premiums to be paid by such member or surviving spouse for the next fiscal year. In the event that such premium amount is changed during the course of said fiscal year, the treasurer of the governmental unit shall file an amended list with the retirement board within thirty days of the date that said treasurer is first notified of the change.
(3) Said retirement board shall certify to the treasurer of each governmental unit the names of those members or eligible surviving spouses from whom premiums shall be withheld. Such certification shall authorize said treasurer to include such member or survivor within the group policy in effect for said governmental unit and to advance any such payments that may be necessary prior to the receipt of said withholding from the state treasurer.
(4) Said retirement board shall, upon notification of the death of a member or surviving spouse covered under the provisions of this section, notify the treasurer of the governmental unit of the death of said member or surviving spouse. Upon receipt of such notification, the treasurer shall discontinue said member or surviving spouse's coverage under the group policy in effect for said governmental unit unless said member is survived by a spouse who remains eligible for continued coverage in which case said retirement board shall continue withholding in accordance with the provisions of this section.
In the event that said policy entitled the member to life insurance benefits, said benefits shall be paid in accordance with the terms of the policy; provided, however, that the treasurer of the governmental unit shall notify said retirement board of the death of the member or surviving spouse at the same time or prior to the notification of the group life insurance carrier of such death.
(5) The retirement board shall promulgate such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary from time to time to effectuate the purposes of this section. Said regulations shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph (4) of section twenty-one of this chapter and of clause (b) of section fifty of chapter seven.
(6) This section shall not apply to those retired members or surviving spouses covered under the provisions of section twelve of chapter thirty-two A.