Temporary assignments and pay


Q. What is the difference between a temporary promotion and a temporary detail?

A. 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).


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. can an employee be temp detailed to a set of duties for 120 days and then temp promoted to a successor position for 120 days?

    • To the best of my knowledge, the answer is yes. If one of our readers has better information, let us know.

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