A transgendered woman finally gets her UK State pension

A transgendered woman finally gets her UK State pension

A transgendered woman finally gets her UK State pension. After several years of fighting, The European Court of Justice has ruled that a transgendered woman can receive her UK state pension without a gender recognition certificate.

The lady, who preferred to stay anonymous and who is referred to as MB, applied for her state pension at the age of 60. She was told that she would have to wait until she was 65 – the retirement age for men. The reason for their refusal was because she didn’t have a gender recognition certificate.

MB has been living as a woman since 1991 and had gender reassignment surgery in 1995. She had not applied for the gender recognition certificate, as she preferred to stay married to her wife whom she wed in 1974.

In UK law a married person can only get a gender recognition certificate once they end their marriage. The decision to specify marriage annulment was put in place to avoid marriage between people of the same gender. Same-sex marriage has only been legal in the UK since July 2013.

During the hearing, the European Court of Justice said: “The court points out that the purpose of the marriage annulment condition (that purpose being to avoid marriage between persons of the same sex) is unrelated to the retirement pension scheme.”

They went on to say, “Since the difference in treatment in question does not come within any of the derogations allowed by EU law, the court finds that the UK legislation constitutes direct discrimination based on sex and is, for that reason, prohibited by the directive.”

Representatives in the case, Christopher Stothers, of legal firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Jacqueline Mulryne, of Arnold and Porter, said in a joint statement: “After almost a decade, MB will finally be paid her pension and recognised as a woman by the Government. This is a small decision, but it has great importance in the move towards increased equality and respect.”

Further Reading:

Do I have to take my State Pension at Retirement Age?

How to Apply For a Gender Recognition Certificate


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