Federal General Schedule wages may increase over time to keep up with the cost of living. These increases are not guaranteed each year and are typically a result of a Presidential or legislative decision.
President Obama raised the G5 pay scale by 1 percent on Jan. 1, 2015 and proposed a 1.3 percent increase for 2016. Pay scales for federal employees are based on job grade, level of experience and location. Employees living in certain localities, such as San Francisco or New York, are also entitled to a locality adjustment on top of their base wages. Experience is measured in steps, with each successive step bringing a pay raise.