Conservative leader David Cameron has angered trade unions by revealing that cutting back on public sector defined benefit pension schemes forms part of the Tory blueprint for the UK.
The TUC said scaling down such schemes – often based on final salaries – would be hard to take for public sector employees who were looking forward to receiving their generous retirement funds.
General secretary Brendan Barber said: “This will come as a bolt out of the blue to the millions of hard-working public servants that see a decent pension as a vital part of their reward for doing tough jobs on pay that is often far from generous.
“It is the kind of issue that could make the difference in marginal seats at what polls suggest will be a close election. Public servants will be frightened and deserve to be told in much more detail what the Conservatives plan.”
NHS staff, teachers, civil servants and local government officers would all be affected if final salary schemes were to be axed.