GS question


Q. I recently applied for a GS-501-12/13 financial management analyst and was graded at a GS-12. However, I was a FP-501-3 financial management officer (GS-13 equivalent) for three years and have been a GS-511-13 auditor for the last eight years. Plus, I have a master’s in accounting. Thus, I think I should be graded at a GS-13. I had an interview and mentioned my concerns about the downgrade. I was told that if I was offered a position, I would need to take it up with Human Resources directly. If I get an offer, can I appeal the grading as a condition of acceptance?

A. First, let’s clear up a misunderstanding. You aren’t being downgraded.

You are applying for a job that can be filled at either the GS-12 or GS-13 level. It appears that the agency is offering you a position at a lower grade than the one you currently hold. You need to check with the human relations office to see if that’s the level at which the agency wants to fill the position or if your credentials didn’t match what is expected of a GS-13 in that position. Since you are applying for a position, not being reduced in grade, there is no basis for an appeal.


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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

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