Allowing public sector workers to retire at 60 while those in private firms would have to continue to 67 was "totally unacceptable", CBI president John Sunderland warned yesterday.
He told the business group's annual conference in London that the Government should treat everyone equally and fairly.
He was echoing comments from CBI director general Sir Digby Jones that a recent deal allowing workers in education and the health service as well as civil servants to continue to retire at 60 should be renegotiated.
Business leaders believe that the Turner Commission report into pensions being published tomorrow, which is expected to recommend that the retirement age be raised to 67, gave an opportunity for the public sector deal to be re-examined.
Downing Street has denied reports that this will happen but union leaders are suspicious, raising the prospect of a renewed threat of industrial action by millions of public sector workers.
Mr Sunderland, who is chairman of food group Cadbury Schweppes, said: "Government must treat everyone equally and fairly - it cannot expect private sector employees to work until 67 to finance the pensions and early retirement of public sector employees who retire on inflation-proofed final salary pensions at 60. "In an era when society as a whole can no longer afford such schemes, this is totally unacceptable."
Mr Sunderland told the conference that the Government was approaching a "seminal moment" in its relationship with business, describing recent decisions as "controversial".
He said that eight years of constructive relations were now in the balance and he urged the Prime Minister not merely to "talk a good game" about business but to back his words with actions.
He said ministers had made several "poor judgments" on issues such as public sector pensions and energy.
"Government understanding of the conditions business face is vital. It's no good talking a good game on the international stage but failing on the domestic front with policies that don't recognise the intense global pressures facing British business."
Mr Sunderland said the Government should not tax business "to the hilt" and said profits were the lifeblood of business and enabled firms to recruit new talent and fund research and development.
The CBI has been warning for months of potential energy problems this winter.
The issue is expected to be addressed by Prime Minister Tony Blair when he speaks to the conference today.