The federal government is developing a middle-aged spread that should result in more retirements, and increasing chances for promotion over the next two years.

Federal officials say the government now has a "bulge" of 230,000 people who are old enough and with enough service, to retire on full pension. That is a jump of 50,000 retirement civil servants in just five years.

Many of the retirement-aged employes came into government during the big Korean War buildup. A number of them have stayed past the earliest possible retirement age because of the tight job market in private industry. Although government tenure his always been good, federal pay rates didn't start getting competitive with private industry until the 1960s. Each annual increase, plus longevity, increases the potential income for retires.

Government manpower planners believe the "bulge" of retirement-aged employes will drop back about 30,000, be around 200,000 retirement-aged people within the next two to four years.

In a recent planning estimate for agencies, the Civil Service Commission said the government will probably be doing more hiring in the next few years, despite the fact that the federal work force is increasing only about 1 percent each year. The reason for the change was cited in the CSC document:

". . . another factor which may tend to increase hiring is that the number of employes eligible to retire has increased in the last five years from 180,000 to 230,000 and is expected to drop back to the 200,000 level within two to four years. Such a bulge in retirement eligibles may act to drive turnover rates up in the short run."

Reorganization of federal agencies may also increase turnover, according to the CSC report. It states:

"A third factor is the impact of reorganization, which may influence retirement patterns in the form of agency requests for early retirement options. Given the combination of factors, some increases can be reasonably anticipated and we suggest that agency personnel and manpower officials follow their own trends carefully to spot any situations that would make recruitment activity necessary."

Wheels of the future: Thirty-nine up-and-coming managers from 18 different agencies have been picked for the Federal Executive Development Program. The part-time training sessions, which include a stint at the bureaucrats version of West Point, the Federal Executive Institute, are aimed at developing top agency managers.

Being picked for the program, and completing it, virtually insures rapid promotion and important jobs for the participants. Picked for this year's program were:

Dwight M. Treadway of Agriculture; Herbert M. Fernandez, Henry Fong, Raymond R. Maestri, Robert C. Majors and Alan K. Olsen, Air Force; Joseph A Floyd, Aubrey Forester and Billy R. Gilliland, Army; Richard B. Post, Civil Service Commission; Andrew Robertson, Commerce; Robert N. Becker, Ronald K. Rigby and Charles K. Watt, Navy.

Also, Edwin F. Tinsworth, Consumer Product Safety Commission; Albert V. Conte, Richard J. Hoffman, Virginia C. Jenkins, Donald L. Light and Joseph P. Longo Jr., Defense; Walter R. Johnsen, Energy Department; Michael L. Anderson and William E. Roper, Environmental Protection Agency.

Linda A. Lafferty, Federal Labor Relations Council; Huldah Lieberman, Michale R. Naver and Richard A. Rhoden, HEW; Michael W. Dolan and Robert G. Prosek, Justice; Vincent R. Agnelli, William M. Craft and John T. Thiede, Labor.

Kenneth C Jackson Sr., Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Ira Laster Jr., James T. McQueen and Lawrence L. Schulman, Transportation; Richard A. Greenstein and Irene W. Sherk of Treasury; and Marvin E. O'Rear of the VA.