Trade union Unite has said that it feared that demands for reductions in public sector pensions were being carried out by a "lynch mob", consisting of the government, media and the private sector.

Unite accused what it called a "coalition of vested interests" of creating a "climate of hysteria" that would lead to a reduction in public sector pensions.

The union claims that public sector pensions are currently being funded in a "controlled and responsible manner" and have argued against a change in indexation to the Consumer Price Index.

Unite's intervention comes a month before an interim report by the Hutton commission on public sector pensions. The commission is being headed by former Labour minister John Hutton.

Derek Simpson, Joint General Secretary of Unite, said, "We are pleased to be able to present a defence of public sector pension provision, which Unite is doing against a lynch mob mentality by a coalition of vested interests - government, the media, so-called 'experts and private sector employers - wishing to reduce public sector pensions.

"There is a climate of hysteria being generated, with facts being manipulated to fit a pre-judged case. This unholy alliance, embracing CBI leaders and Nick Clegg, already have good pension nest eggs, which the average private and public sector employees can only dream about.

"Last year, the TUC said that the majority of public sector pensioners received a pension of less than £5,000 a year and that half the women on NHS pensions receive less than £3,500 annually. We are not talking about great riches here.

"This review will potentially affect the livelihoods of many millions of past and present public service employees and their views as members need to be properly considered, alongside those of taxpayers' in general. It is unfortunate that in relation to pension debates that members' interests are very rarely given due consideration.

"The first stage of the commission's work has been described as 'interim', but it is clear from the terms of reference that, in fact, the first report will be required to make a final judgement on whether there is a case for change. Otherwise, it could not begin to make recommendations for the short term savings the government is clearly keen to realise.

"Unite questions the independence of this commission and whether it can resist the forceful lobby wishing to drastically erode the modest pensions of millions of public sector workers."