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Supreme Court seeks guidance from CJEU regarding case of transgender woman refused state pension

Under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, by obtaining a gender recognition certificate, transgender people have the right to have their gender formally recognised in law.  MB was married in 1974, began to live as a woman in 1991 and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1995 but did not apply for a gender recognition certificate.  In order to be granted a certificate, MB would have had to annul her marriage.  She decided to remain married to her wife and mother of their two children.

When MB reached the age of 60 years in May 2008, she applied for the state pension but was refused on the basis that the law did not officially recognise her gender.  She would be required to wait until the male pension age of 65 before she could claim her pension.  The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to refuse her a state pension at the age of 60 years.

The matter was brought to the Supreme Court and Lady Hale stated that the Court was divided on the correct answer and referred the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union.  The question referred is whether Council Directive 79/7 EEC precludes national law from imposing a requirement that a person who has changed their gender must be unmarried to qualify for a state retirement pension, in addition to satisfying the physical, social and psychological criteria for the change of gender.

See BBC News article here

Discrimination, LGBT, Pensions