A lot of academic research is not directly applicable to industry and its related returns.Research. Not all academics teach and for some, teaching seems like an annoyance in the way of their research.
And to be honest a lot of academic research is not replicable.
Academic salaries generally aren’t terrible. They may not be as high as some good industry levels. But academics haven’t necessarily proved themselves as being at that level. But academics are afforded more freedom than their industrial counterparts.
I don’t really believe University pension schemes should be better than average as their members are voluntarily missing out on benefits offered to those outside of academia. And I speak as someone who is a member of the USS scheme.