The Right to Equal Treatment: Pensions and State Benefits
The Gender Recognition Act provides for transsexual people who have obtained a gender recognition certificate to be treated according to their acquired gender in so far as certain survivor’s benefits are concerned including Widowed Mother’s Allowance, Widow’s Pension, Widowed Parent’s Allowance, incapacity benefit and retirement pensions. Because a number of these benefits are gender specific and benefit women, only female to male transsexuals will lose these entitlements after recognition has been granted. Likewise a male to female transsexual born prior to 6 April 1955 will be entitled to a state pension at 60 whilst a female to male transsexual will not qualify until 65, and will lose entitlement if receiving the pension when the recognition certificate is issued. The retirement age of all men and women, and therefore all transsexuals, born after 6 April 1955 is 65.
Post-operative transsexuals who have not obtained a gender recognition certificate can rely on Article 8 (right to respect for private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights following the case of Goodwin v UK. This enables them to be entitled to marriage-related benefits under occupational pension schemes such as survivor benefits (KB v NHS Pensions Agency) and entitles male to female transsexuals born prior to 6 April 1955 to claim a state pension from the age of 60 (Grant v United Kingdom).