Transgender pensions case moves to EU court

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A transgender woman who was refused access to the state pension at the retirement age for women is having her case heard by EU judges.

The UK Supreme Court has looked at case of 68-year-old MB, who transitioned from male to female, and blocked her entitlement to a pension at 60, the BBC reports.

UK judges are divided and said they would look to the EU Court of Justice for guidance.

MB lost a 2014 Court of Appeal case when judges backed the original Department for Work and Pensions decision on the basis she remained legally a man.

MB married in 1974 – and has not divorced – and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1995. But she did not apply for a gender recognition certificate.

Her lawyer, Arnold & Porter partner Christopher Stothers, said: “Where an individual is physically, socially and psychologically a woman, as recognised by the state in their passport and driving licence, and indeed surgically, why should they be required – before the state will recognise their gender for pension purposes – to get divorced or have their marriage annulled, particularly where they and their spouse do not wish to do so and indeed have religious objections to doing so?

“Although we are pleased with the result, the slowness in getting the issue resolved is highly frustrating for the pensioners involved.