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Sunday, December 18, 2005

UK 'in breach' over transgender's pension
Ben Townley

The UK is in breach of discrimination laws by not allowing a post operative transsexual woman to claim her pension and retire at 60, an EU court advisor has ruled.

Sarah Richards, who was born a man in 1942, wants to retire at the same age as other women but has so far been refused because her birth certificate lists her as a man.

She had been told by the government that she will have to wait until she is 65 before she can access the money she saved throughout her career and retire from work.

However, the advocate general, who proposes rulings to be considered by the European Court of Justice, says that decision is wrong.

"In this instance, Ms Richards is denied her pension in circumstances where, had she been registered as female at birth, she would have been entitled to it," the European Court said in a statement, based on the advocate's findings.

"Such a refusal constitutes discrimination," it added.

Under British law, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will only accept the original birth certificate as proof of identity, even if the person is transgendered and post-operative.

However, new laws introduced this year allow transgendered people to apply for a gender recognition certificate and have their true identity partially recognised by the state.

The Court will now consider the proposals before making a decision, although it has already said that the relative rarity of the problem means the British government was unlikely to be made bankrupt by the flow of people looking to retire early.

"Given the relatively few people who would be affected by the judgment, the financial implications would not create a risk of serious economic repercussions in the UK," the advocate's statement said.


Blogger wind walker said...

i hope you have a merry christmas rachel!!

9:12 pm  

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