Transsexual wins European Court of Justice ruling on pension age


A transsexual worker has won the right to collect her pension as a woman although she was born as a man, after a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

The EU’s highest court overruled the UK law which grants pension rights to transsexuals based on their original gender.

Sarah Margaret Richards was born a male in 1942, but underwent a sex change operation in 2001.

A year later, on her 60th birthday, she applied for her pension. But, under UK law, Richards was identified as a male and her pension was deferred to the age of 65.

The court said in Brussels that “the right not be discriminated against on grounds of sex is one of the fundamental human rights”.

“The unequal treatment in this case is based on Richards’ inability to have the new gender which she acquired following surgery recognised,” the court said.

The court ruled that Richards had been the subject of discrimination.


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