Public sector workers facing pay cuts are becoming disillusioned and are prepared to sacrifice their pension for a job in a private firm, according to new research.
A survey of almost 1,400 employees showed that just over half of those in the public sector would consider giving up their pension for a career elsewhere.
Recruitment firm Hays said the pull of private companies and their perceived higher job security was attractive to workers in the public sector, which has been hit this year by industrial unrest over the Government's controversial pension reforms.
A separate poll of almost 1,000 employers found that most were worried about retaining skilled workers.
Andy Robling, public services director at Hays, said: "These results indicate the potential dangers ahead for the public sector if something is not done to address poor morale and the perceptions some workers have about what the two sectors offer in terms of career progression and job security.
"Public sector employers are clearly worried about keeping and attracting the staff they need - the question is what impact will this have on frontline services and how can we minimise any negative impact?
"The news that over half of workers in the public sector, who often choose work there to make a positive difference to society, would consider trading in their pension for a career in the private sector underlines how keen they are to move.
"Whilst conditions in the private sector are challenging too, it is clearly one step ahead of the public sector in terms of attracting and motivating talent."