Temporary NTE and "sold" leave


Q. I’m a full-time FERS employee with 21 years of service and over 60 years in age. I am on a temporary promotion that is to “Not to Exceed 12/31/2012”. I am planning on retiring Nov. 30, a month before the temporary promotion expires. I am also planning on “selling” my 100 hours of unused annual leave at retirement. Will my leave be sold at my temporary promotion salary (GS-14) or at my permanent grade (GS-13)?

A. Since your agency has the right to return you to your official position of record before you separate, the amount of your lump-sum payment will depend on which position you are occupying when you retire.


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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. I was a GS -11 step 7 before taking a temporary promotion NTE up to 5 years to a GS-14 and after 5 years was a GS-14 step 7. I reapplied for the same position to continue on a temporary Promotion NTE for another 5 years as a GS-15 and the appointment letter stated GS-15 step 4. I did not have a break between Temporary Promotions and did not receive an SF-50 saying that I returned to a GS-11; my SF-50 actually showed my past GS-14 step 7 salary moving to the GS-15 step 4 for the next Temp. Promotion.
    I am now being told by HR that there was an error and I should have started as a GS-15 step 1, not step 4 , as I was required to go back to my GS-11 past salary previous to the Temp.Promotions
    Can you retain pay level /grade step level between competitive Temp Promotions NTE of more than 1 year?

      • Thank you very much for your quick response Mr. Jones. I will contact OPM at the link you provided.

        I do have one additional question…. I am still on the Temporary Promotion NTE and I am planning on retiring while on a Temporary Promotion NTE, as a FERS employee with 31 years of service. My question is similar to the question from the other full time FERS employee above…Can I retire on the Temporary Promotion NTE with my High Pay Rate of GS 15 and receive my Annual Leave lump sum payment at the GS-15 HRP? Does it matter if it is a NTE less than 120 days or NTE more than one year?

        Your answer to the other similar question stated that it is at the discretion of the agency to keep one at the GS-15 or revert them back to the last Permanent Grade rate (my case a GS-11) and the AL payment would depend on which position I would be occupying at time of retirement. If that is the case, if I retire at the GS-15 Temp Promotion and my agency is in agreement, I would be able to receive the AL lump sum payment at the GS-15, correct?
        Thanks so much for all of your assistance.

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