If the Federal Reserve did not start increasing interest rates, that could the cause of the next U.S. recession, former Fed Governor Robert Heller told CNBC.
"There is a very dangerous scenario building up in the U.S. because the rates are so low and for so long," Heller, who was on the Fed's Board of Governors from 1986 to 1989, warned.
His comments to CNBC's "Squawk Box" came after the Fed said on Wednesday that it would keep interest rates unchanged from the current 0.25-0.50 percent. The post-meeting statement also took a more dovish tone, with some indication that the central bank may hike rates only once this year, instead of the two increases previously flagged.
But Heller pointed to increasing risks from the impact of low rates on investment returns.
"Pension funds and insurance companies will sooner or later have a very hard time fulfilling their obligations and that would be definitely triggering the next recession," he said. "When that will happen, when they will run out of money, when they can not fulfill their obligations, nobody really knows, but that may be the trigger for the next big downturn in the U.S."