(REUTERS) -- President Barack Obama will propose lifting a pay freeze for U.S. federal workers in his budget plan to be unveiled next month to give government employees a 0.5 percent pay rise, a White House official said on Friday.

The increase, which would end a two-year freeze imposed in 2010, will be outlined in the president's 2013 budget, according to the official at the White House Office of Management and Budget. The budget is expected to be released in early February.

The 0.5 percent pay increase proposal, first reported by the Washington Post, would require congressional approval and compares with a 3.6 percent cost of living adjustment in 2012.