An Iraq war veteran has been made redundant by the army just three days before he was due to qualify for his full Army pension.
As a result, Sergeant Lee Nolan will lose out on at least £100,000 after becoming one of 20,000 soldiers who were axed as a result of harsh military cuts.
Having joined the army almost 18 years ago at the age of 24, Sgt Nolan did tours of Bosnia and Iraq as a medical technician in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The 43-year-old who along with his job also lost his army home – now living with relatives in Manchester – has written a heartfelt letter to David Cameron and has even returned his six military medals to the Prime Minister.
In his letter Sgt Nolan said:
The events of the past 12 months have turned my life on its head and sullied my near-18 years of loyal and exemplary service to my country. The medals I have enclosed would only serve to remind me of the shocking way I have been treated.
Under the current rules, forces personnel over 40 need to have either 16 or 18 years’ service to earn a pension – leaving Sgt Nolan was just three days short of qualifying for the full amount having given 17 years and 362 days of service before being let go.
He received a redundancy payout of £93,000 and will get a £5,000 a year pension when he reaches 60. If his contract had been terminated just three days later, he would have received a payment of £188,500 in instalments – almost double the amount. The Ministry of Defence has responded saying the nearness to pension eligibility was not a factor in their decision to let Sgt Nolan go.
A spokeswoman for the former soldier said:
People who leave the Armed Forces lose a whole way of life and need financial security as they adapt, retrain and start over again.