Thousands of pre-1928 model civil servants at Health, Education and Welfare are waiting to see if their giant department will get permission to offer them early retirement.

HEW has asked the Civil Service Commission to approve the retirement-at-50 plan because it is reorganizing and facing major job shakeups. By giving thousands of senior workers the option to retire now on immediate annuity, HEW figures it could be spared layoffs of younger workers later on.

HEW is one of the biggest government employers nationwide, ranking afeer Defense, the U.S. Postal Service and the Veterans Administration. It is also one of the largest federal agencies in the Washington area.

Under the early out - which CSC is still considering - HEW workers who are age 50 with at least 20 years of service could retire immediately and qualify for an annuity. Their pension would be reduced 2 per cent for each year they are under age 55. Workers with 25 years of federal-military service could also retire, if CSC approves it.

Most of the HEW offices in the Washington-Baltimore area would be included in the early out option.

The HEW units that would be excluded from the early-out retirement bonus would be hearing offices of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, and district and branch offices and program service centers of the Social Security Administration.

The early-out, if approved, would not be permitted for workers in district offices of the Food and Drug Administration, field activities of the Bureau of Medical Services or field installations of the Indian Health Serv- [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]

HEW headquarters workers, and headquarters staffers of the Social Security Administration in Baltimore, and aides at major facilities like the National Institutes of Health would be eligible, if they meet the age and service requirements and if CSC gives the plan the green light.