The ECJ holds that requiring a person who has changed gender to annul their marriage to receive a retirement pension is discrimination

26th June 2018

Kerry Bretherton QC was part of the team which successfully represented the person discriminated against by  the UK government regarding her pension rights and succeeded at the European Court of Justice.

The UK government discriminated against a woman who was denied a pension on reaching retirement age, the European court of justice has ruled. The case involves an individual identified as MB who was born a man in 1948 and married a woman in 1974. For religious reasons, the couple did not annul their marriage after MB undertook gender re-assignment surgery, which meant MB could not be granted a full gender recognition certificate. As a result she was refused the state pension at 60 and told she would have to wait until she reached the male pensionable age of 65. The European court of justice said “the UK legislation constitutes direct discrimination based on sex and is, for that reason, prohibited by the directive”.

A link to the case can be found here.



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