According to the CBI higher pension deficits are leading to bigger employer contributions, which are in turn stifling growth.
Its director-general John Cridland has expressed concern about “artificially high” pension deficits driven by low gilt yields, which have a hit a low of 1.4%.
Cridland said: “A solvent, profitable company as sponsor is the best protection for a pension scheme and its members.
“Artificially high deficits will only hold businesses back further from investing and creating new jobs because of demands for higher funding from trustees.
However, the chief executive of the Pensions Regulator Bill Galvin claimed higher pension deficits did not necessarily mean increased contributions from employers.
He said: “The funding framework provides considerable flexibility – allowing employers to spread payments over many years, to smooth contributions to take account of affordability, and to use other assets and security.
“Direct comparisons with systems in other countries can be misleading since they generally have more rigid rules on repaying deficits quickly.
“The UK system is notable in allowing flexibility where it most matters – on the actual payments that go into the scheme.”