The response by Joan Gordon, Natfhe's pension officer (THES January 24), to the proposal for a Higher Education Superannuation Scheme, is that to set up a new pension scheme "is likely to result in a deterioration of pension benefits and would not be regarded as fair treatment by anyone". This comment was superficial and unsubstantiated.
Even if the Teachers' Superannuation Scheme were the best imaginable - and that thesis has been questioned - the transfer of the benefits of university and college lecturers to an equivalent independent scheme could be done without deterioration or unfairness. The main objective of such a transfer would be to avoid the type of situation we have now where members of a scheme working in one sector suffer because of changes introduced to meet problems which have arisen in a totally different sector.
A secondary but major objective would be harmonisation across the higher education system.
Peter Koch, Association of University and College Lecturers superannuation secretary