UK - The British Chamber of Commerce has called for an immediate suspension of the 2010/2011 Pension Protection Fund levy in a bid to support employers affected by the economic downturn.
The trade body claimed the levy was causing "serious problems" to firms with defined benefit pension schemes.
BCC director general David Frost said: "The levy needs to be responsive to the economic situation.
"We cannot lose productive businesses offering good retirement benefits because of this levy. This could hamper the private sector's ability to drive the UK out of recession and into a sustainable recovery."
The BCC said many firms were finding the levy far too punishing a cost - especially during the economic downturn.
In a statement, it said: "There is now a real danger that the levy could force DB schemes to close at an even quicker rate, and that businesses could even become insolvent as a result."
In a statement, the PPF said it was in the process of developing proposals for the long-term future of the levy and had set up a steering group of leading industry figures to help us formulate those proposals - a steering group of which Frost is a member.
The statement added: "We welcome any views which contribute to this process and we look forward to David's formal contribution to the steering group meetings which will be held between now and the end of the year - and any response by the BCC to our long-term levy consultation when it is published in the new year."
It also said: "Our priority, under law, is to pay compensation to those people who risked losing their pensions because their employers have gone bust. We intend to make sure we fulfil our obligations to those people.
"But, we do recognise that we are living in a difficult economic environment. That is why we announced in June that we would be delivering on our commitment - made in 2007 - to keep the levy stable for three years. This will help reduce the burden on business. We have no intention of changing this decision."
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