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Pensions palaver

You published a letter ("Pension penalty clause", THES, November 18) from C. N. Refford of Cranfield University about the need to invoke the aid of his MP to get a response from the Teachers' Pensions Agency.

I too have had difficulty in securing prompt replies, as I did with the Department of Education and Science pensions branch, which the agency replaced. Like C.

N. Refford's MP, mine (John Sykes) took up the issue; and he has received a letter from the agency's chief executive, which states: "The agency has an objective to reply to 95 per cent of correspondence within 15 working days and you will be pleased to learn that we are on course to meet the target this year." I pass on the good news.

Heather Sharps 25 Cornelian Drive Scarborough, North Yorkshire

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