A MILITARY family are to miss out on almost £175,000 in pension payments – because the soldier husband is being forced out of the Army just three days before he is entitled to it.

Sergeant Michael Anderson, a 35-year-old father-of-two, will lose his job in June next year under the latest round of Ministry of Defence cost-saving cutbacks.

A veteran of Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq, he had planned to stay in the Army for a full 22 years - but his last day will now fall just 72 hours short of 18 years service, which would have qualified him for a pension package of just over £261,000.

Instead of getting a £51,926 lump sum and an immediate pension of £8,723 a year until he is 60 he will now receive a redundancy payout of £87,417 with a pension of £4,374 a year once he reaches 60.

Sgt Anderson, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, is a welfare officer at Catterick Garrison where he lives in married quarters with his wife of 13 years, Jolene, and their two children, aged eight and 11.

“We were horrified when we found out,” said Jolene, 32, a mental health care manager in Northallerton.

“My husband was working towards our future, creating a real foundation for our family when it was all just ripped away.

“Just two weeks after being told he was to be made compulsorily redundant he was awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. That’s like having your nose rubbed in it.”

She said they were now appealing against the decision as they faced the prospect of losing job, home and financial security all at once.

According to the campaign group Pension Justice for Troops more than 100 servicemen are losing their jobs within a year of reaching their immediate pension points.

“It might be legal, but it is not right, fair or just,” said spokesman Jayne Bullock.

“These people have been recruited, trained and retained on this promise and losing pensions like this is a betrayal.”

She added: “I believe it is an oversight rather than deliberate – but it is an oversight which has to be put right.”

An MoD spokesman said: “Inevitably we have to draw the line somewhere, but those who are close to their immediate pension point – a small minority of approximately 1.2 per cent - will receive a larger tax-free lump sum in compensation.