Bentley Motors staff have voted for industrial action over the planned closure of the defined benefit (DB) Rolls Royce and Bentley Pension Fund (RRBPF) to future accrual.
On a 92% turnout, 98% of car production workers, senior staff, and managers at the company's Crewe headquarters approved plans for strike action in a consultative ballot held by Unite.
The union said, under the plans announced earlier this year, members could lose "tens of thousands of pounds a year in retirement income" and decried the company as "pensions snatchers".
The union will now hold a full industrial action ballot, as statutorily required, warning around 1,200 workers could be affected.
Unite regional officer Phil Morgan said the results of the ballot showed the anger of workers.
"This massive vote in favour of action demonstrates the anger and strength of feeling among workers over Bentley's pension proposals, which could result in workers losing thousands of pounds in retirement income," he said.
"Unite will now be making arrangements to move to a full statutory industrial action ballot which, given the strength of feeling, could result in industrial action in the coming months."
Morgan said the union had presented counterproposals to the company but details were not disclosed.
The scheme, which closed to new members in 2012, has a deficit of over £500m - although the basis and date on which this was calculated was not revealed - with 28% of its staff currently active members. The company previously said the cost of funding the scheme has increased by 50% over the past five years.
In a statement, the company said: "Our people are Bentley's greatest asset and starting the full and open RRBPF consultation process has not been an easy step to take.
"We are looking at this now because of the significant growth in the deficit to over £500m in the last two years. We are fully committed to funding this deficit, which poses a significant financial challenge to our business."
It added it was looking to manage risk and ensure the company's sustainability while seeking an affordable and balanced alternative.
"We are of course disappointed by the results of Unite's consultative ballot, which is not a ballot for industrial action at this stage. We will continue to work together with the unions to achieve the best possible outcome for the company and all of our colleagues."
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