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A former Air Force employee appealed the Claims Group's denial of his claim for grade and pay retention. The record showed that the employee accepted a lower grade position with another Federal agency after receiving notice that his position would be transferred to another area incident to a transfer of function. The employee contended that he was entitled to grade and pay retention since he accepted the lower grade position rather than waiting to be separated and because the personnel office had advised employees that they would be eligible for all benefits and protection normally afforded employees during a reorganization or a reduction in force. GAO held that the record clearly showed that the employee was not placed in a lower grade position as a result of declining to transfer with his function, but voluntarily applied for and accepted a lower grade position with another Federal agency prior to the scheduled transfer of function. Therefore, since the employee voluntarily accepted a lower grade position, he did not qualify for grade and pay retention. Additionally, GAO held that any erroneous or incorrect advice that the employee may have received would not expand the circumstances under which the employee would be entitled to grade and pay retention. Accordingly, the Claims Group's disallowance of the claim was sustained.

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