A survey of 1,000 employees working in public sector organisations found they were “desperately” holding onto their pension packages in the face of planned changes announced by the government.
Teachers and civil servants have taken strike action over the reforms and unions continue to threaten further disruption later in the year if the row is not resolved.
Recruitment firm Badenoch & Clark said its study showed a majority of public sector workers believed their pensions were worth striking over.
Around a third of those questioned said they believed they should be paid more, arguing that wages in the public sector should be the same as in private firms.
Morale was said to be low, with three out of four describing the mood among public sector workers as “average to low”.
Nicola Linkleter, managing director of Badenoch & Clark, said: “The public sector remains in a state of crisis. With morale low, further cuts looming, and pension contributions set to rise exponentially, managers must continue to ensure that workers understand the future direction and opportunities within the sector. The need for careful, grassroots change management is absolute.
“Leaders must now reassert the public sector brand more than ever before. Workers will remain loyal to their employer so long as they perceive that they employer is committed to its workforce.
“This commitment must include clarity on pension reform. Lack of transparency will further damage morale, and could lead to further strikes.”
Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB union, said: “No amount of spin will convince GMB members in the NHS, whose pension scheme already sends £2bn a year to the Treasury in surplus contributions, that it is fair that they are forced to hand over a further £500m from April 2012 while the pensions they are saving for are being cut at every turn.”