EUROPE – Luxembourg has the highest old-age pension dependency ratio in the enlarged European Union, according to Aon Consulting.

Aon said the ratio of working people to retirees in Luxembourg is 4.44 to one. Ireland and the Netherlands were second and third respectively, at 3.89:1 and 3.68:1.

The findings come as the European statistical office Eurostat said today that Luxembourg has the lowest unemployment rate in the EU, at 4.1%.

Slovakia has the lowest current dependency ratio, 1.59:1. Hungary has 1.66:1 and France, Malta and Latvia’s dependency ratio is 1.73:1. Slovakia has an unemployment rate of 16.5%, Eurostat said.

Aon said that the retirement age varies widely in the EU. “For instance in Hungary, women already qualify for a state pension as early as 55, whereas in the UK the female retirement age is due to rise to 65 - in line with male retirement age - from 2010.

“Higher unemployment gives rise to a smaller employed labour force pool to pay for the pension charges,” Aon added.

Meanwhile, Aon Corp. has reported its first-quarter results. Consulting revenue at the firm rose eight percent to 301 million dollars, though organic revenue growth was up only one percent. Pre-tax income in the segment rose 24% to 26 million dollars.

“We had significant margin improvement in our consulting segment driven by disciplined expense management,” said chairman and chief executive Patrick Ryan.

Overall net income rose to 192 million dollars from 160 million dollars a year ago.