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Document What is the Gender Recognition Act?

The Gender Recognition Act came into force on 4 April 2005. This Act introduced a process to enable a person to change their legal gender.
An individual can apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).
If they are successful in their application, a Gender Recognition Certificate is issued and the law will recognise them as having all the rights and responsibilities appropriate to a person of their acquired gender.

Marriage and civil partnerships

Following the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Commencement No.4) Order 2014 on 10 December 2014 it is now possible for a person who is married or in a civil partnership to apply for gender recognition without having to divorce first.

A married transsexual person can obtain a GRC while remaining in that marriage if they have their spouse’s written consent to their gender recognition. In Scotland consent is not required under the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014.

A transsexual person in a civil partnership needs to convert that civil partnership to a marriage before they can apply for gender recognition. However, if both civil partners apply for gender recognition at the same time, they do not need to convert their civil partnership to a marriage as they will remain a same sex partnership.

How will a having a GRC affect pension entitlement in the NHS Pension Scheme?
A small number of gender specific regulations remain in the NHS Pension Scheme; therefore there are implications for members:
  • with Special Class Status in the 1995 Section; or
  • who have service before 25 March 1972 in the 1995 Section; or
  • who transfer pension rights to and from either the NHS Pension Scheme 1995/2008 or the NHS Pension Scheme 2015.
More information on Gender Recognition can be found on our website.
Gender, Gender Recognition Act

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