In this paper we analyze exemplarily the volatility of the internal rates of return of the German pension system over the life-cycle of an individual born in 1957. The outcome is compared to an alternative defined-contribution or defined-benefit policy. Based on the actual data, our resultsshow the volatility of the internal rate of return to be significantly higherunder the actual policy. We furthermore find that the sustainable internalrates of return are close to zero for the youngest male cohorts and posi-tive for females for optimistic growth scenarios. In more realistic scenariosthings turn worse.