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K.B. v NHS Pensions Agency , Case C-117/01, 7 January 2004

Facts: the applicant was the female worker and partner of a trans man. She worked for 20 years for the NHS and was a member of the NHS Pension Scheme. The NHS Pensions Agency informed the applicant that as she and her partner were not married, she would not be able to receive a widower's pension if she were to predecease her partner. She went to court to try to secure her right to marry him in order that he could inherit her pension if she died.  The Court of Appeal referred the case to the European Court of Justice;

Issue: the ECJ had to interpret Article 141 EC Treaty and of the EC Equal Treatment Directive (No.75/117).

Holding: Member States had to determine the conditions under which legal recognition was given to the change of gender of a person. It is thus for the national court to determine whether the applicant could rely on Article 141 in order to gain recognition of her right to nominate her partner as the beneficiary of a survivor's pension.

See also Goodwin v United Kingdom.

 

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