Temporary promotion rules


Q: Can management temporarily promote (non-competitively) an employee to the lower grade of a six/seven-graded position for 120 days? Are temporary promotions limited to the full-performance level only of a given position? What specific rules support or prevent such actions?

A: Temporary promotions are intended to meet the temporary needs of the agency’s work program when those services can’t be provided by other means.To be temporarily promoted, an employee has to meet the same qualification requirements that are needed for the permanent promotion. He or she receives the higher-graded salary for the period assigned and gains quality experience and time-in-grade at the higher grade level. The first 120 days can be made noncompetitively. In other words, the employee doesn’t have to compete with other employees for the temporary assignment. If the temporary promotion is extended beyond 120 days, competition is required. The maximum time period for a temporary promotion is five years, unless OPM authorizes the agency to make and/or extend it for a longer period. If the temporary promotion that was originally made under competitive procedures, it can be extended up to five years without further competition.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. How many times can someone be temporarily promoted? For example, if someone was temporarily promoted for 120 days (non-competitively), do they have to wait a year before receiving another temporary promotion?

      • What if they were returned to their lower grade after the 120? Can management temp promo them again say 90 days after the Change to Lower Grade, or would they have to wait a year?

          • Does the ‘wait a year’ mean from the start date or end date of the previous temp promo? For example if someone went into a temp promo on August 1, 2016 and ended on November 29, 2016 (120 days later) can they get another temp promo starting after August 1, 2017 or is it not until the end of November 2017?

          • I looked on the page you referenced in your lastest email on this thread and it does not tell you how long you have to wait per the question Christine asked. Does it go by the time you start the temp promotion, the time you end the temp promotion or is it just by calendar year or fiscal year. That’s the only think I need to know if you could help please.

          • Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to find an official answer to your question. Based solely on my own experience as a federal employee, the year began on the date the first temporary appointment ended. I hope other readers with will chime in with their experience.

          • No problem, as long as it’s a position for which you are qualified at the same grade and pay and in the same commuting area.

          • Do you have a specific reference for this? Where I can find that the employee has to wait a year.

          • You’ll find the answer to your question in 5 CFR § 335.103 – Agency promotion programs. Just scroll to subsection (c). As for your request, there is no mention in those regulations of having to wait a year.

        • In my situation, I was temporarily promoted to a position and had a remainder of 44 days out of the 120 days non competitively. I’m being temporarily promoted again to a different position. The HR didn’t know it was a different position number (it’s the same job title and job series). Management wants to fill the vacancy for 120 days. Since it’s a different job, do you see issues with not being able to fill it for 120 days?

  2. How long can a person be temporarily promoted to a higher grade and position before they are entitled to be paid for serving in the higher position?

    • If a person is temporarily promoted to a higher grade, he is automatically entitled to the pay of that position. You ma be thinking of a temporary detail, which doesn’t require a change in pay.

  3. Carlos DeBose on

    Can management hire a term employee under a temporary promotion NTE 120, if the employee doesn’t have a career or career conditional appointment.

    • Yes, a term employee can be promoted, changed to lower grade, detailed or reassigned to other positions within the time limits of their term appointments to other positions which the management has determined appropriate for filling by term appointment.

  4. Can you weigh in on this scenario?

    In January, I applied for a promotion from a GS-12 to a GS-13 and made the certificate, then the federal hiring freeze hit. In March, I received a non-competitive temporary promotion NTE 120 days from a GS-12 to a GS-13 for the position that I had applied for in January. Now that the hiring freeze has lifted and a permanent, competitive selection can be made, on April 30, while serving in the non-competitive temporary promotion, I received a permanent competitive promotion to that exact same position.

    My question is that my HR is telling me that since I was serving in the promotion in a non-competitive capacity, that I have to be demoted back to a 12 before I can be competitively promoted back to the 13, thus losing any time in grade that I have earned. But everything I can find online, including OPM, seems to indicate that I should not be demoted. Though the OPM guidance makes no mention of competitive and non-competitive.

    What are your thoughts?

  5. jennifer reese on

    To qualify for a temporary promotion do you have to have a year at the next lower grade or can you just qualify based on the job you do. Like if I want to temp promote a GS 9 with only 9 month at that level can they still be qualified to be temp promoted at the 11 level.

      • Are you saying that if you are a GS13 you can get a temporary promotion to the next higher grade without having the 52 weeks – if you have taken on the role/duties? Can you share with me where that is located? I have asked this question and I was told no, I did my own research on the OPM website and don’t see it.

        • Yes, you can if you meet any of the exception criteria:
          § 300.603Coverage.
          (a) Coverage. This subpart applies to advancement to a General Schedule position in the competitive service by any individual who within the previous 52 weeks held a General Schedule position under nontemporary appointment in the competitive or excepted service in the executive branch, unless excluded by paragraph (b) of this section.
          (b) Exclusions. The following actions may be taken without regard to this subpart but must be consistent with all other applicable requirements, such as qualification standards:
          (1) Appointment based on selection from a competitive examination register of eligibles or under a direct hire authority.
          (2) Noncompetitive appointment based on a special authority in law or Executive order (but not including transfer and reinstatement) made in accordance with all requirements applicable to new appointments under that authority.
          (3) Advancement in accordance with part 335 of this chapter up to any General Schedule grade the employee previously held under nontemporary appointment in the competitive or excepted service.
          (4) Advancement of an employee from a non-General Schedule position to a General Schedule position unless the employee held a General Schedule position under nontemporary appointment in the executive branch within the previous 52 weeks.
          (5) Advancement of an individual whose General Schedule service during the previous 52 weeks has been totally under temporary appointment.
          (6) Advancement of an employee under a training agreement established in accordance with OPM’s operating manuals. However, an employee may not receive more than two promotions in any 52-week period solely on the basis of one or more training agreements. Also, only OPM may approve a training agreement that provides for consecutive promotions at rates that exceed those permitted by § 300.604 of this part.
          (7) Advancement to avoid hardship to an agency or inequity to an employee in an individual meritorious case but only with the prior approval of the agency head or his or her designee. However, an employee may not be promoted more than three grades during any 52-week period on the basis of this paragraph.
          (8) Advancement when OPM authorizes it to avoid hardship to an agency or inequity to an employee in individual meritorious situations not defined, but consistent with the definitions, in § 300.602 of this part.

  6. Concerned Employee on

    The agency that I work for has been only opening permanent promotions to the higher leadership and tell everyone who is GS-13 and below that they can’t open any permanent slots for promotion because of sequestration. Only temporary promotions have been filled for the last three years. However, other directorates within the same command are filling permanent promotions on a regular basis. Is there any truth to not being able to permanently promote based on the sequestration or continuing resolution?

    • Agencies can control their spending in a variety of ways. Using temporary promotions rather than permanent is one of their options.

  7. Frustrated and Concerned on

    Does time in grade requirements apply to temporary promotions for less than 120 days? And if not, where can I find the regulation?

    • Yes,as long as you are converted to a permanent position without returning to the lower grade. In addition, the time spent on a temporary promotion would be considered creditable service in the calculation of your next WGI. Processing a permanent promotion without moving you back to the lower graded position doesn’t change the date of the “equivalent increase.” Therefore, the waiting period starts on the date of the temporary promotion.

      • Temporary Promotion Extension on

        Can my temporary promotion be extended beyond 120 days if the position has been announced and currently pending permanent fill action?

          • Temp Promotion extension on

            The position was announced competitively as a GS12, but I would not qualify as my temporary promotion is only GS9. Can my promotion be extended until the position is filled?

  8. Can a supervisor deny an employee the opportunity to apply for a competitive temporary appointment (either detail or temp promotion)?

      • Understand that the act of applying can not be denied. If selected for a competitive temporary promotion can a supervisor deny the promotion opportunity to a full successful employee? Is the answer (either way) documented where that I can find it to share with an applicant?

        • Regulations tell you what you can do, not what you can’t. If an employee has applied for a temporary promotion and is selected, no one can block that action.

    • Our agency post temporary promotion opportunities on the intranet site and they require supervisory concurrence. If I’m selected, can the supervisor deny me the opportunity to work a non-competitive temporary promotion NTE 120 days? Where/what regulations explain this?

      • Yes, your supervisor can deny you that opportunity if your absence would adversely affect the work your unit needs to accomplish.

        • If it’s proven that my absence does not adversely affect the work the unit needs to accomplish, is the supervisor concurrence required? Or does the supervisor have unbridled authority to deny me this opportunity?

          • You don’t have the unilateral right to decide when you’ll take annual leave. If you want to take annual leave, check with your supervisor. If you are only talking about a couple of hours, approval would usually be automatic. However, if several days or more are involved, the supervisor will be in a better position to determine whether your absence will pose a problem. For example if he or she has already approved leave for others on the staff and one or more assignments may have to be reassigned to you.

          • Am I automatically entitled to the pay of that position under 5 CFR § 335.103 if I was selected by the receiving office’s supervisor but the home office supervisor refused to give supervisory concurrence for the non-competitive temporary promotions NTE 120 days?

          • But didn’t the home officer supervisor take a personnel action against the employee when not providing supervisory concurrence to the non-competitive temporary promotion even though a selection was made?

  9. I have just recently learned about this and am trying to get more information.

    Currently I am a GS5 working in an office that has only 1 of 3 GS9 spots filled. I have for over a year now actively been responsible for a majority of the responsibilities that would normally fall under one of the 9 roles. This has been acknowledged by leadership and I have received multiple praises for my performance. One reason the 9 spots have remained empty is they are in the process of downgrading 2 of the positions to GS7’s. My question is can I and if so how do I go about getting it documented that I have been performing at a 9 level in the absence of one being assigned and receive the pay of such.

    Additionally, is there an avenue to fight for a promotion to the 7 or 9 level based on my performance over the past year or more?

    • How you’ve been performing your job isn’t the issue. It’s the assigned duties assigned in your job description. The only way to find out if those duties are at the GS-7 or GS-9 level is for your personnel office to conduct an audit of your position.

  10. I have a question. I was unofficially temporarily promoted to a higher graded position for over 2 years. I had to take the matter to arbitration for having it documented officially and to get back pay.

    If the arbitrator’s decision is in my favor and they make it official, does the 2 years count towards time-in-grade?

    If it does, does that mean it counts towards my retirement as well?

  11. Can a person be forced to work in a higher grade position without being temporarily promoted? For example, can management make a GS4 work in a GS7 position without temporarily the GS4 to GS7?

      • Can you provide a reference, if someone has been forced to work at a higher grade for 2 years without pay or documentation? Commander (military) wrote a letter to the employee stating he will have to continue to perform the 13 as well as his 11 job, for no additional pay. There is no local HR to challenge this, and despite a request, no SF-50 issued to document it. I would like to be able to point the employee to a law/regulation on this issue.

  12. Hello Reg,
    I have a scenario similar to some of the above situations. I am a permanent GS-13 step 7, due for my WGI to step 8 on 18NOV2017. OPM rules state that increase is effective the following pay period, which would be 26NOV2017.
    However, on 20AUG2017 I was detailed and temporarily promoted to GS-14 step 4 (2 step rule), and continue to serve in that position – likely until 25NOV2017.
    I have now been competitively selected for a permanent GS-14 position in the same geographic area, and my report date is being discussed as 26NOV2017. Based on ‘time served,’ I expect to start at GS-14 step 5. I am concerned I may lose out on a step increase. Should I be? Thank you!

  13. Hello Mr. Jones,

    I was working in an temp promotion position (TCS), then was temporary promoted to the next higher grade NTE 120 days. Upon the end of my temp promotion NTE 120 days, I was told I couldn’t return to the grade I was prior to the temp promotion NTE, I would have to return to my permanent grade prior to my TCS. I never left the location I’m in, however my SF 50 supports I went back to my home station was changed to a lower grade. Is this the proper procedure? If not, what reg should I reference?
    Thank you

  14. I am in the second year of a NTE 3-5 years promotion. I went from GS12 to GS13 for the NTE. Since I have comepleted one year at the GS13, can I now apply and be considered non-competitively for a permanent GS13 position?

  15. Can a lower grade be promoted if they are performing the next higher grade duties on a routine basis? Scenario: My supervisor has been away on and off for ongoing medical treatments for the past year. There are many work weeks where he only works 2 days or takes a week or two off a month for treatment. The result is that the burden of work and duties default to me when the incumbent is away. He is scheduled to retire in 5 to 6 months but the reality is that until then, I will be performing both mine and his duties (30 to 50% of the time) until then.
    I would appreciate any guidance or references to this type of situation.

  16. I am a Gs-4. For the last year and a few months, I’ve taken on half of our secretaries duties, to include supply and contract management. Our secretary has decided to retire next yr. in Feb which is less than 4 months away. The store administrator has asked that she trained ME to take over. It doesn’t bother me, but I feel I should be paid adequately.. please advise

  17. Hi – What is the effect of the Hiring Freeze on a temporary promotion? Would an incumbent in a temporary promotion at the start of a hiring freeze simply be left in their position without the mandatory competition? See https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/OSD000999-17-RES-Final.pdf at p. 5, Section B, part 3.

    Also, it is well-settled that the while the initial temporary promotion can be management’s mandate, what happens if the second 120-day temporary promotion is not competed and simply goes the management’s designee? Sounds like a Prohibited Personnel Practice to me.

  18. I am an 1811 SSA/GS-13. My ASAC (GS-14 position) retired and I was filling the position for just under 120 days. No SF-50, no additional pay provided. Is this a temp promotion or a temp detail? Am I entitled to GS-14 pay? If so, does the agency have to pay me, or is it optional? Thank you!

  19. Hello

    I was temporarily promoted to a 13 and now a reassignment opportunity has come up for a 13. Is that something I am eligible for since technically I am a 13 at the moment?

  20. Hi, I am a GS 13 step 4 eligible for a within-grade increase in 4 months to step 5. I’ve now received a temp NTE one year promotion to grade 14 step 1. My questions are 1) Will I still get a step increase in 4 months to GS 13 step 5, which means I would then also be temporarily promoted to GS 14 step 2? 2) Also when I return in a year to a GS 13, will my one year of GS 14 count for anything, for example if I subsequently get a permanent promotion to GS 14 will my one year prior service as a GS 14 step 1 allow me to go to GS 14 step 2 any faster? Thanks

  21. If a there is a temporary promotion to a GS14, how would it be handled to go permanent if the individual is 30% eligible veteran? Would the Veteran still have to compete?

  22. what if you are a GS8 and take a non competitive detail of a position that is a GS6, what are the guidelines for that? There is no promotion or pay increase. How long could your detail be?

    • The detail of an employee from one position to another with no change in pay is an option available to each agency. As a rule, such details are for a maximum of 120 days.

  23. Hello Reg.
    My colleague left the agency after getting a GS-15 offer. His position was a GS-14. My supervisor with through great effort over a year ago to rewrite the PD’s so it would be plan to see the differences in duties and responsibilities between the 13’s and the 14’s. My Colleague left about 6 months ago and I was asked to take over his duties and responsibilities and have done so for the past 6 mounts as a 13. My question is based on fairness. When I inquire about the 14 position. I am told that grade and promotions are frozen through this fiscal year. Do I have any recourse to try to get the promotion? Thanks.

  24. Daniel Miller on

    Hello Reg,
    Currently I’m a gs 8 non supervisor preforming all my required duties in addition to all the duties of a vacant gs 11supervisor and a gs11 non supervisor position for over a year with out a temporary appointment. On avarage working 24 to 48 hrs of overtime a pay period,no end in sight. How can I be compensated for filling these positions?

    • While your agency could recommend you for a quality step increase or a cash award for your exceptional performance, there’s no other way that you could be compensated.

  25. Can the 2 step rule apply when going from one temporary promotion NTE 1 year up to 5 years to another higher grade temporary promotion NTE 1 year up to 5 years?

  26. Our GS13 supervisor is out on FMLA and expected to return in six months. Instead of temp promoting the one and only GS12 in our office, the agency has decided to announce a temp promotion at the GS12 level to broaden the applicant pool. So, if the GS12 applies it would only be a detail. Does the agency have any responsibility to also announce a temp promotion at the GS13 level?

  27. If I accept a term or temporary appointment (at a higher grade) will that count towards my high-3 or is there some exclusion for those types of appointments when it comes to high 3?

    • Yes, it will count. That’s because your high-3 will be based on the Basic pay you received during your highest 78 consecutive pay periods.

  28. Concerned Employee on

    I’m currently on a Temporary Promotion for 120, which ends next week. From what I’ve read, I’m only allowed one TP per year unless they advertise for it to be extended.
    My questions is can they give me a promotion and or reassign me to this position without competing for it. Is there an alternative, so as not to go back to my previous level? What implications will there be for going back to a lower grade?

    • No, they can’t give you a promotion nor is there an alternative to your going back to your previous level.

  29. Milton Burley on

    If my office posts a vacancy for a temporary promotion (lets say at the GS-13 level) not to exceed 1 year. Can applicants that are currently GS-13’s apply and be considered and/or referred? If so how and based on what rule?

  30. I applied for and successfully competed for temporary promotion / detail opportunity. I received SF-50 showing temporary grade increase from a GS-09 to a GS-11 with an NTE date 120 days from start date.
    Can I be extended another 120 days without competition? What is the maximum amount of time for extension?

  31. I am a permanent GS-9 and there is a NTE 1 year Temporary promotion or reassignment to a GS-11. If I was to compete for this and get it, what happens when my year is up? Would my old position still be there or would I have to find another permanent job before the year is up?

      • How is “one for which you are qualified that is equivalent” defined? I’ve not been able to find any regulation defining this. Can you please provide a reference? I’ve been told that it’s dependent upon what is vacant and available in the table of organization at the time I resume my original position of record at my duty station. Thank you.

        • An equivalent position means a position that is virtually identical to the original position in terms of pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions (including shift and location).

  32. I am a GS 13. I was competed for and was temporarily promoted to a GS 14 position NTE to 1 year. My year ends Sept 30th, 2018. I would like to go back to my old position or equivalent. But my agency wants me to stay in GS 14 position for another 120 days, as a temp detail. May I decline? I lose the pay bump, and there’s NO promise to compete this position as a permanent one.

    • Yes, you are free to decline the extension. However, the fact that “there’s NO promise to compete the position as a permanent one” ought not to be your sole reason for declining it.

  33. I have been temporarily promoted three times from a GS11 to the same GS12 position. The first time I was promoted was from March 2015 until June 2015. The second time was from November 2017 until March 2018 (Non Competitive 120 days) and the current one from June 2018 to November 2018 (Competitive). Adding all the weeks I will have more than 52 weeks as a GS12. Do I have any retention rights?

      • But, having completed the 52 accumulative weeks, am I able to apply for GS-13 even within my agency? If yes, how should I demonstrate that on my resume? I have the SF50 to as evidence.

        • You can apply for any position for which you qualified and that is not restricted, for example, to candidates outside the agency. You don’t have to demonstrate anything. Your personnel file will contain all the information that’s needed.

  34. I have been in a temporary promotion assignment since September 2018. My 120 days will expire in January 2019. Since the 120 days crosses over to the new calendar year does that mean my detail couldn’t be extended to another 120 days without competition? The reason why I am asking is because my Agency has been trying to fill this job for a year now and is currently considering applicants that applied for the position on a permanent basis.

  35. I’m currently a GS-07 non-supervisor, who has been tasked w/ taking on all of the duties of a vacant GS-11 non-supervisor pos in the office. I was advised that I could not be put into a temporary out of class pay for the 11’s job, bc it’s too high of a jump. Is that true? Also, can you pls let me know if it is it legal (or within regs) for me to have to do all of the GS-11’s duties, in addition to my normal GS-07 duties, without compensation?

    • Yes, it is legal for them to ask you to fill in. No, you can’t be expected to do all the duties of that position, only the ones for which you are qualified.

      • Thank you for the reply, I very much appreciate it. I’ve been doing everything for the past four mos, all on my own. They have now provided me w/ some temporary help. In essence, I could file a grievance, correct?

        • Yes, you could file a grievance. Whether that is in your best interest is something you’ll have to decide. If you feel that your agency is doing the best they can with available resources, that might not be a good idea. On the other hand, if you feel that they are taking advantage of you, then filling a grievance might be worth considering. However, before doing that, you should talk with your supervisor, explain your concerns, and find out both how long this assignment is expected to last and why.

  36. I have been in a temporary promotion position (NTE 1 year) since October 1, 2018. I am electing to return to my previous lower-graded position at my old office. They are doing 120 day rotations for a supervisory position at my old office. Will I be eligible for a 120 day rotation there after having been in a temporary position previously?

  37. Hello,

    I applied for, interviewed for and successfully got an NTE 120-day temporary promotion from a GS 12 to a 13. I am interested in applying for another temporary promotion to a different job series within the same 12-month period. However, I am unclear if the first temporary promotion was competitive or not, which would determine if I can apply for another temporary promotion in the same 12 months. How do you know if you “competed” for a temporary promotion? Is there anything in writing I can reference?

    • You’ll have to check with your personnel office. They’ll have a record of the announcement and and the selection process.

  38. Hi. If I obtained a competitive temporary promotion which was over a year, then returned to my permanent position one grade lower, does my pay when returned undergo the application of the two step rule? I understand temporary promotion definition but 5 CFR531.403 also states a temporary promotion past a year is considered a permanent position.

  39. I have completed 3 non consecutive temporary promotions at the GS-13 level. Am I now eligible to apply for GS-14 positions as a GS-12?

  40. Greg Vawter on

    Good Afternoon,
    I am a permanent GS-12 at my home station but competed for and accepted a deployed TCS GS-13 assignment NTE 13 Months on 19 August 2018. Am I eligible for a non-competitive 120 day temporary promotion on 1 June 2019? If so, how does that effect time in grade? Will I have 9 months time in grade for my GS-13 time and 4 months for my GS-14 time, or will all my time in grade be determined by my competitive placement (13 months as a GS-13)?

    Thank you for your information.

    • “What if” questions like the ones you’ve asked are best answered by your servicing personnel office.

  41. I am a GS 13 and was temporarily appointed to a position non-competitively which recently ended after 120 days. There is a different GS-14 position within the organization that they are looking to fill non-competitively and I am wondering if I can be considered for it or if I have to wait a full year. If you can please let me know, that would be great! Thanks!

  42. Toni Klasner on

    If someone is in a NTE 1 year promotional detail can they be moved back to the original lower grade position because the did not hire behind it and are down needing help?

  43. If you serve a temporary promotion for over a year, and have the supporting SF-50, are you eligible to apply none competitively to that grade? Such as an individual is a GS-13, but temporary promoted to GS-14 for one year. That person doesn’t get the promotion and goes back to the Gs-13 position. Are they able to apply as a lateral to a GS-14 as they have 1 year time in grade?

  44. I was given a Temporary Promotion (with pay) that started on 20 July 2019 and is going to end the last part of October 2019. My supervisor wants to place me in a Temporary Detail (without pay) as soon as the Temporary Promotion ends. I want to do it to continue to gain experience.

    Can my supervisor do this?

      • When I say without pay, I mean I will go back to being paid at my actual pay level. The temporary promotion was to a GS-14 and I am currently being paid at the GS-14 level. My question is: Can I be placed in a Temporary detail at the GS-14 level immediately after my Temporary Promotion ends? What is the difference between a Temporary Promotion and a Temporary Detail or are they the same thing?

        • A temporary promotion is intended to meet the temporary needs of an agency’s work needs when those services can’t be met by other means. To be temporarily promoted, an employee has to meet the same qualification requirements that are needed for the permanent promotion. He or she receives the higher graded salary for the period assigned and gains quality experience and time-in-grade at the higher grade level. The 120 days can be made noncompetitively. In other words, the employee doesn’t have to compete with other employees for the temporary assignment.

          A detail is the temporary assignment of an employee to a different position or set of duties for a specified period when the employee is expected to return to his/her regular duties at the end of the assignment. An employee who is on detail is considered for pay and FTE purposes to be permanently occupying his or her regular position. Therefore, there is no change to the employee’s grade or salary while serving on the detail (even though the duties associated with the detail opportunity may be classified at a higher or lower grade level than the employee’s current position).

          • So once I finish my Temporary Promotion where I’m being paid at the GS-14 level, I can then serve in a detail in that same job immediately after the temporary promotion ends, I would just be paid at my regular grade level correct?

            If that is the case, how long can the detail last?

  45. Can an individual who was recently promoted (4 months ago) from a GS 12 position to a NTE for 1 yr at the GS 13 level, compete for a permanent GS 14 vacancy announcement through merit promotion procedures?

    • You’ll have to check the vacancy announcement to find out if there are any restrictions on who may apply for the position, e.g., “must have served at the GS-13 level for at least 1 year.”

  46. Reg,

    I worked for a DoD unit in Germany as a GS-12. My boss resigned leaving the position vacant. I was given a temp promotion to GS-13 for 120-days. At the end of the 120 days, our organization was under a hiring freeze and I was required to continue working in the GS-13 position, even though I was reduced back to the rate of a GS-12. Once the hiring freeze was finished at seven month mark, it was determined that the civilian positions in our part of the organization would go away once I was transferred back to the states. I continued to work in the capacity of the GS-13 position for a total of 15 months, 11 of those only being paid and recognized only as a GS-12. Is there any recourse I can take to get back paid for the level of work I was required to do, and get recognition for the more than 12 months of GS-13 experience that would make me eligible for higher promotions?

    • I am a permanent WG-8 and have been selected for a WS-7 supervisor Not to exceed 5 years. I am not happy with the new job. Can i just tell my supervisor and be converted back to the permanent WG-8 in the same department i was in before i accepted the WS-7 position?

  47. Under the following scenario, am I eligible for a Career Ladder Promotion?

    I applied to a Competitive Announcement. I was selected and I was Temporarily Promoted from a GS 9 to a GS 11 . My Temporary Promotion has now been extended an additional year. The position is GS 11 with a Full Potential of GS 12. Since I have now served a year at the GS 11 in this Temporary Promotion, am I eligible for a Career Ladder Promotion to the GS 12?
    I cannot find any guidance on this, if you have any I can share with my supervisory, it would be very helpful.

  48. I have worked in a GS 13/14 equivalent pay band position for 2-1/2 years; if I am offered a (competitive or non competitive) temporary promotion to a GS 15 equivalent pay band supervisor position, can I receive a permanent promotion to this position under direct hire authority (schedule A)?

    • There are too many variables. You’ll have to present those scenarios to your local personnel office and find out what they have to say.

  49. I have a colleague who competitively competed for a GS-13 temporary position NTE 5 years. The reason for that position was a specific project and money being sent from another organization to pay for that GS-13 position. However, the project ended early thus no more money and the organization ended the temporary position. He was told he goes back to his old GS-12 position and pay by the local HR department. Is this correct? He feels he should get to keep his pay since he served in that position for longer than 52 weeks (approximately 60 weeks). Thanks!

  50. Apologies if you have answered this question already. I was temporarily promoted to a positon in our office and completed the 120 days, 3 months ago. We’ve had another employee depart, same series and grade as the previous temp promotion. Can I be temporarily promoted to the new vacancy?

    • I couldn’t find anything saying that you can’t. If anyone else has better information, please share it with us.

  51. I am currently a GS-11, but have been in an acting capacity at the Gs-12 level several times over the past few years totaling more than 12 months time performing GS-12 duties and gaining experience. There is a GS-13 being announced that fits my experience outside the VA that’s only open internally, so I’d need to mee the 1-yr time in grade at the GS-12. Is there a way for me to use the 12 months + acting in a GS-12 in order to meet the time in grade? How is this best documented when applying in order to be considered qualified?

    • You’ll need to pull out the Standard Form 52s documenting the beginning and ending dates of your time as an acting GS-12. However, if, as you wrote, the job is outside your own agency and open solely to internal competition, you wouldn’t be eligible to apply for that position.

  52. In the original posted answer in this thread, you wrote that, “The maximum time period for a temporary promotion is five years, unless OPM authorizes the agency to make and/or extend it for a longer period.” I located this reference in § 335.102, Agency authority to promote, demote, or reassign. Thank you for that.

    My question relates to how one can reasonably and factually find out if a given, specific agency has been given this extension authority by OPM and for how long? My servicing HR office (a regional office) is so overwhelmed that even basic inquiries go unanswered for long periods of time. So posing this arcane question to them seems difficult, at best. Do you know of another resource to answer this agency-specific question, or even how to approach this quandary? Thank you.

  53. Hi, I am a GS9 step 5 and was due for a step increase in pay period 26 in 2019. However, I did serve in a temporary promotion for 120 days as a GS11 step 1 within the last 2 years.
    When that was done i moved back to GS9 step 5.
    Should I receive the step increase after an additional 120 days beyond pp 26?

  54. Hi, I’m a GS-12 that applied for a temporary detail that was competitively advertised as a GS13. The detail is advertised as temporary NTE 1 year but extendable up to total of 4 yrs. The position announcement states that “SELECTEE(S) MAY BE CONVERTED WITHOUT FURTHER COMPETITION, IF THE POSITION BECOMES

    • You’ll need a copy of the position announcement and any Standard Form 50s that are generated before, during, and after the event.

  55. I’m a GS-12 that was in an “Acting” GS-13 Supervisory position for 180 days when our supervisor left the agency. I was told I could not go past 180 days or I would have to paid as a GS13. I inquired about a SF52s being generated and was told it was being looked into. I’m not sure I’m getting the correct info from my agency. What should I receive for 180 days in a GS-13 slot?

    • It appears that your were temporarily assigned for a period of time not to exceed 180 days. During that time you continued to receive the salary of the position from which you were detailed. At the end of that detail, you were returned to your official position of record. That personnel action will be included in your OPF.

      • I was told I would not be receiving SF52s or any notes in my 0PF as that had to of been done while I was in that position. Since I’m no longer in the position they will not generate anything?

        • If you occupied that position and carried out its duties, your agency is required to document that fact on an SF52. If it wasn’t done at the time, it should be done after you return to your former position.

    • I can’t find anything in writing saying that it can be done, nor can I find anything in writing that says it can’t.

  56. If a person who is a GS-8 receives a 120 day temp promotion as a GS-9 and then returns to the GS-8 position upon reaching the NTE date, does that 120 days count toward a WGI at the GS-8 level they are permanently in?

  57. I was a permanent GS-13 employee and was competively temporarily promoted to a GS-14 not to exceed 5 years. My question is, does my time as a temp promoted GS-14 count as time in grade? So I would qualify for a permanent GS-15 position after at least 1 year as a temporary promoted GS-14? What about if the GS-15 was a temporary promotion position as well, can you be temporary promoted from your temporary promotion position?

    Also does the salary in a temporary promotion count towards your high-3 in regards to retirement pension?

    • Yes, the time you spent in the higher level position counts toward your time-in-grade in your permanent position. It will also be included when your high-3 is determined. While I doubt that you could be promoted from one temporary promotion to a higher temporary position, I haven’t found anything in writing that would prevent it.

  58. If you do three 120 day details in a temp promotion, does that qualify you as having time in grade at that GS level (even though it’s 360 days and not 365) or do you need to do some combination of details that the total is over 365 days to be considered having time in grade?

  59. I have been on a temporary appointment at GS-14 step 2 for two years which ends in two months. The agency can’t extend the assignment and they are telling me I’d go back to GS-13 Step 4 which was my last position. I would like to retain my current pay. Could the agency place me back as GS-13 but at a higher step that matches my current salary? If yes, or no – could you reference the regulation please?

    • I can find nothing in law or regulation that would allow your agency to set your step at a level higher than you are currently entitled to.

  60. I have been an acting 14 for 17 months and counting. I was temporarily promoted competitively during that period for NTE 9 months. That has ended and now I am back to my previous grade but still in an acting capacity. I have applied and have been told I will be selected permanently. If that happens, will I be able say my TIG is over a year at the 14 level when it comes to calculating my step level, ie. 14-4 since my TPRO was at 14-3.

    • Any period during which you were temporarily promoted would count toward your time-in-grade at that level. Time served in an acting capacity would not.

  61. Reg, thank you very much for this message board- it is a helpful resource.

    I am a GS06 Step 6 Admin Asst. currently in a detail as a GS06 St. 6 Secretary’s Assistant. My detail ends in three weeks. The highest grade level I’ve ever held was as a GS07 0025 Park Ranger for six months.

    If a detail (not a promotion) comes open for a GS09 Park Ranger, do I qualify for this detail? Does it make a difference if it’s competitive (longer than 120 days- i.e. will the fact that I don’t have 52 weeks as a GS07 count against me)? My understanding is that I should qualify, as you can take multiple details in a year, and there is no time-in-grade requirement for a detail, even if it is competitive. If you have time, please let me know what you think. Thank you

  62. I have a colleague that received a temp promotion for 70 days. Now they want to apply for another temp promotion in the same calendar year. This person was told by HR that they can only apply for one temp promotion in a calendar year, regardless of duration. I believe this is incorrect and that they are able to receive another temp promotion in the same calendar year NTE 50 days. Can you please help clarify who is correct?

    • I’m not aware of any government-wide limit to the number of temporary promotions an employee can have during a year.

  63. Henry Gilliland on

    I have a past employee that was detailed out of an arduous gov position (fire) and into a lower grade to accommodate her pregnancy. She has returned to work over the last two months and an opportunity to detail into a promotional position has come up. Her supervisor was in support. In short she was offered the detail and now her supervisor has had a change of heart and is denying the temporary promotion due to staffing shortages. And also states that she will need to wait a year because she just finished a detail in a lower positions. Ive always been told a supervisor can not deny a temporary promotion detail in the federal government. It’s this true or false

    • Since the detail to a position with a promotion is a different one from the one she was detailed to earlier, the one year rule doesn’t apply. Failure to let her take that position could be considered an adverse action and would be appealable.

  64. FED IN LIMBO on

    Finally was promoted permanently after almost 2 years in an acting capacity, with nearly a year being a paid TPRO. I originally had questions regarding the effect on my TIG and WGI. I received credit for TIG but unfortunately, it had no impact on the step I was promoted at or the date of my next WGI.

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