The Resource

In This Issue

The Whole U
Career Development
Combined Fund Drive
Hometown Home Loan

Published: December 14, 2016

Look for a new weekly e-newsletter for UW faculty and staff — called UW Insider — starting in Jan. 2017. It will combine important messages from IT Connect News, The Resource, The Whole U, Disaster Digest, UW Recycling and Combined Fund Drive into one centrally managed email. UW Insider aims to help you make the most of your UW employment experience while reducing information overload. This newsletter will replace The Resource with this being our last issue.



MetLife insurance offer extended through Dec. 16

On Nov. 29, the Health Care Authority announced an extension to life insurance open enrollment through Dec. 16, 2016 at midnight. This extension applies to life insurance only, for both online and paper enrollment. Postmarks are not allowed under Health Care Authority rules.

The new deadline is due to MetLife's website and customer service phone lines experiencing high visitor and call volumes during open enrollment, and many members being unable to complete their life insurance transactions online.

To enroll online:
Visit the MetLife enrollment portal and set up an account. (company = PEBB)

To submit via paper:
Download an enrollment form, complete and sign the form, and fax directly to MetLife at 1-859-825-6719 no later than 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2016. You may disregard the enrollment period date of Nov. 30, 2016 due to the extension.

You can view the MetLife Premium Rate Table to find out the monthly cost for optional life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance.

IMPORTANT: Beneficiary Designations Whether you have only employer-paid basic, or optional life and AD&D, be sure to designate your beneficiaries with MetLife before Dec. 31, 2016. Your current beneficiaries on paper will not transfer to MetLife. Go to the MetLife MyBenefits portal to make this designation and any changes to your coverage.

Forms must be received by MetLife; UW Benefits office cannot accept forms. All questions should be directed to MetLife Customer Service at 1-866-548-7139.



Learn how you can help prevent violence: attend a SafeCampus training

Everyone in the UW community is responsible for helping to prevent violence. When something doesn't feel right, learn how to respond and get connected to appropriate campus resources for support. The SafeCampus helpline – 206-685-SAFE (7233) – is available 24/7 when you have concerns of potential violence. If you feel that you or someone else is at risk, you don't have to deal with it alone.

To learn more, attend a SafeCampus Violence Prevention and Response training and get the information you need to be an informed member of the UW community. You will learn what behaviors to contact SafeCampus about and what resources are available on campus. The training will discuss relationship violence, staking, suicide and general warning signs of distress. There will also be a brief portion on response to an active shooter. Register for a Seattle campus training:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, 9:30-11 a.m., UW Tower Auditorium
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m., South Campus Center 316

Additional central campus location times and dates are also being finalized, please check the SafeCampus website for more info.

All UW employees are required to attend this training every two years. If you would like to confirm when you last attended, email your full name and your UW NetID or employee identification number to

The Whole U


Mindfulness meditation

Take time out to join us for 45 minutes of self-care during this hectic time of the year. During this peaceful class, you'll learn mindfulness and how to practice it with Katie Evans, a Seattle hypnotherapist and UW alumna with a degree in psychology. Let go of thoughts and worries and attain calmness as Katie guides us through three meditations that teach us to be completely present in the moment. Everyone — regardless of their level of meditation skill — can enjoy this class. Bring a mat or a meditation cushion if you have one. The event will take place at the HUB on Friday, Dec. 16, from noon-12:45 p.m. Register here.


Dare to Do 2017 - UW New Year's 30-day challenge

Ring in the New Year with a 30-day ultimate challenge that will hold you accountable in four areas of wellness: fitness, nutrition, financial and organization. The Whole U has teamed up with the best of the UW to bring you four weeks of tools, tips and activities that will help set you and your family on track for a successful year. Learn the quality-versus-quantity way to fitness, how to plan meals around weight loss and performance, how to budget toward increasing savings, and lasting strategies for organizing your office and home! The challenge starts Monday, Jan. 23 and runs through Tuesday, Feb. 21. The kickoff event, which will take place on the Seattle Campus on Jan. 17, will feature a motivational talk from MaryLou Mulflur, UW head women's golf coach and PAC 12 Coach of the Year, as well as an introduction to our four partner experts. The first 1,000 participants to register before the kickoff event will receive a Pivot Weight Scale. Don't miss the inspiration, snacks and free scales! Register now and help spread the word.


Wulin Hanyun performance

Experience Chinese culture like never before through the spectacular performances of the Wulin Hanyun troupe. Hosted by the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (CIWA) and The Whole U, the renowned Chinese Wulin Hanyun troupe will be performing at Kane Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Join us for a thrilling two-hour performance highlighting Chinese martial arts, tai chi, music and dance. Seats are limited and early registration is highly encouraged. Don't miss this special experience! Register here.


A guide to living well with chronic autoimmune disease

What is autoimmune disease and how does it affect us? How can autoimmune disease be influenced by diet and lifestyle? Join us Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 5-6 p.m. at the HUB to welcome UW Cardiac Nurse and Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach Christina Tidwell – she will teach you about the relationship between gut health, digestion and autoimmune disease. Guests will receive a handout of healthy recipes and an intro to meal planning and preparation. You'll also learn about ways to reduce stress and manage the feelings surrounding chronic illness in order to live a life unburdened by disease. Register here.

Career Development


Professional & Organizational Development (POD) courses and events are open to all UW employees, subject to supervisor/budgetary approval and the UW's release time policy. Please view our policy page for additional information.


Welcome to winter

Registration is now open for dozens of winter classes and webinars for UW staff. Browse our online catalog to find offerings that can improve your on-the-job performance or advance your career through new knowledge, skills and strategies. Plan ahead so that you don't miss out on classes typically offered just once a year, including Acing the Marshmallow Test, Customer Service Excellence, Facilities and Administrative Rate Calculation, Master Process Planning, and Strategic Planning Tools, as well as a special offering of the Total Organization webinar. View a list of POD's winter classes.


New year, new offerings

Three distinct offerings make their debut in 2017. Own Your Brand is based on a popular session from the 2016 Support Professionals Spring Retreat and focuses on identifying and illuminating your professional assets as well as the value you bring to your organization. Supervising Student Employees looks at different types of student jobs and examines techniques for coaching, mentoring, giving feedback to, and setting expectations for student employees. The 90-minute webinar Mindfulness @Work explores how mindfulness can help you feel calmer, happier and more fulfilled at work; deepens your ability to focus and manage competing demands with ease; and raises awareness of how you spend your time. View POD's winter classes by category.

Combined Fund Drive


Your gift matters

The UW community has come together again this year to support nonprofit organizations right here in our community and around the globe through the UW Combined Fund Drive, our workplace giving program. This fall, we have already raised more than $2.2 million through individual gifts and events like the Step Up to Tolerance stair climb, silent auction and coin drive. The generosity shown by your colleagues and you is awe-inspiring! You have our sincere thanks and appreciation for changing lives.

If you haven't yet made a gift to your favorite causes, you still have time. Visit the UW Combined Fund Drive website and choose Give Today. Thank you for making a difference in so many lives. Your gift matters. Giving matters.



Missed open enrollment? Now what?

The medical/dental/FSA/DCAP open enrollment period closed Nov. 30, 2016. Open enrollment was the period during which employees could enroll dependents, make changes to medical/dental benefit elections, and/or take advantage of other benefits such as a Flexible Spending Account or the Dependent Care Assistance Program.

If you took no action during open enrollment, your previous medical/dental plan elections will remain in place and new dependents cannot be added or removed with the exception of a life-qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption.


Annual PERS 3 transfer window opens Jan. 1

If you're a member of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Plan 2 and you were enrolled in the plan prior to March 1, 2002, you have the option to transfer to PERS 3 between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2017. To be eligible for the transfer, you must earn service credit in Jan. 2017. This one-time transfer is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change plans at a later date. To compare plans, visit the benefits website.


Contribution limits for 2017

Several UW benefits plans are subject to limits imposed by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Exceeding these limits could result in penalties and fees, so it's important to be aware of them. Click on the links below to view more information about each benefit.

UW Retirement Plan (UWRP) The maximum combined employee/employer contribution limit allowed under IRC for 403(b) plans such as the UWRP (and the VIP below) has increased to $54,000 for 2017.

Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) The maximum "optional" salary deferral contribution limit (pre-tax and Roth) allowed under IRC for the VIP is $18,000, which is unchanged from the 2016 contribution limit. Catch-up contribution limits (for participants age 50 or above) also remain unchanged at $6,000.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) The minimum annual deduction amount is $240, and the maximum deduction is $2,500.

Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) The maximum yearly allotment is $5,000 (or $2,500 if married and filing separately).

Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) The maximum salary deferral contribution limit (pre-tax only) allowed under IRC 457(b) for the DCP is $18,000, which is unchanged from the 2016 contribution limit. Catch-up contribution limits (for participants age 50 or above) also remain unchanged at $6,000.

Health Savings Account (HSA) For those enrolled in a PEBB high-deductible health plan with an HSA, the combined employer/employee contribution limits for individuals has increased to $3,400. Family coverage will remain the same as 2016, at $6,750. The additional catch-up contribution for employees age 55 or above remains $1,000.



UW CareLink helping you set and achieve goals

If you want to accomplish something instead of drifting aimlessly, you have to set goals. Nowhere is this more relevant than in today's workplace. This month's Balanced Living article, Setting and Achieving Personal Goals, includes goal setting reminders, but also how to remain motivated!

UW CareLink will also broadcast a one-hour webinar "Goal Setting for Your Best Year Yet" on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at noon. We all have things we say we'd like to do but, somehow, they never seem to get done. They might be as simple as reading a book or learning a new skill to taking a vacation or completing a project at work. Despite our stated desire to do these things, other priorities get in the way and we don't do them. In this webinar, you will get tools to help you identify what's really important to you and you'll learn how to set specific, attainable goals and develop workable plans for reaching them. Register here (enter "UW" as company code). The webinar will be archived and available for viewing by the beginning of Jan.


More free resources from UW CareLink

Holidays can be a stressful time. This can also be a time of year where we need a reset. UW CareLink provides five free confidential counselling sessions per issue. Now you can receive your referral from UW CareLink two ways: call UW CareLink 24/7 at 1-866-598-3978 or contact them online at Select your requested services and provide your contact information. You'll be contacted within one business day to complete the in-take and referral process.


Back-up and sick child care

KinderCare and Bright Horizons offer numerous programs to children of all UW faculty, staff and students to help support your needs. If you need childcare during the holidays, consider KinderCare and Bright Horizons. Both provide center-based back-up child care at a daily cost of $20 per child. Hours and ages vary between centers, openings are not guaranteed, and advance registration in the program prior to needing care is highly recommended. Register or call now if you need to make arrangements for care over the holidays.

Bright Horizons provides in-home care for your children when they are too sick to attend their normal arrangements and you need to be at work. Register now so it is only a phone call or a few clicks on the computer when the coughs and fevers begin.



Planning to retire in 2017?

First, plan to attend a retirement planning workshop to make the transitioning process go smoothly. Navigating agencies and submitting paperwork can be arduous and frustrating. To guide you on your path to retirement, the UW Benefits office recommends attending the workshop for the retirement plan in which you are currently participating:

Retiring from a DRS plan (PERS, TRS, or LEOFF) For employees who have a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) plan including:

  • Classified staff participating in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) plans 1, 2 or 3
  • Faculty participating in Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) plans 1 or 3
  • Law enforcement officers participating in Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System (LEOFF) plan 2

Access workshop information and registration.

Retiring from UWRP: For faculty, librarians and professional staff participating in the UW Retirement Plan (UWRP). Access workshop information and registration.


Meet a retirement planning and guidance consultant

Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, you can schedule a free, one-on-one consultation with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant or a TIAA representative in a way that works best for you – by phone, or in person. Take advantage of this opportunity to:

  • Ask questions about saving for retirement and other goals
  • Evaluate investment choices that meet your needs
  • Create an action plan to stay on track for retirement
  • Review retirement income options

Make an appointment today!


Credit Union Financial Education Seminars

Save more and better manage your finances with financial education seminars presented by two local nonprofit credit unions, WSECU and Inspirus. These free sessions are held at convenient campus locations during the lunch hour.

Credit Reporting 101 - Come away with valuable tips to help you get the most from your creditworthiness. Offered Jan. 12, 2017.

Emergency Financial First Aid - Emergencies happen. Get the tools you need to be ready for an emergency – natural disaster, financial or otherwise. Offered March 15, 2017.

Hometown Home Loan


Hometown Seminars

Did you know? HomeStreet offers free, one-hour seminars to help you learn about a variety of homeownership issues related to budgeting, buying, remodeling, refinancing and selling your home.

Buying a Home
Whether you're buying your first home or just need a refresher, this seminar is for you. Offered on Feb. 15, 2017, you will learn:

  • Today's real estate market
  • Role of the real estate agent
  • Pre-approvals vs. pre-qualifications


Budgeting Essentials
Wish more of your money stayed in your pocket? Does it sometimes feel like you don't have the resources you need to make ends meet? Learn:

  • How to manage your income to meet expenses
  • Ways of setting aside money for savings
  • Setting realistic financial goals
  • Creating a budgeting action plan

Offered Jan. 24, Feb. 2 and Feb. 21, 2017.


Individual prequalification appointments

Thinking of buying or refinancing a home but not sure how to get started? Schedule a free, personal home ownership counseling session with a HomeStreet Bank representative who can walk you through the home loan process, get you prequalified, or just review your current loan. These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are both private and informative, and your spouse, partner or potential co-signer is welcome to attend.

To request an appointment, click on your preferred date at the "Classes & Seminars" calendar tab on the HomeStreet website or call 206-628-0207.



Winter at the IMA

Winter Quarter faculty and staff IMA memberships are on sale now. Recreational Sports Programs provides a variety of facilities, equipment, programs and experiences which contribute to the health, wellbeing, fitness and leisure interests of UW faculty, staff and students. IMA memberships are available on a quarter or annual basis for faculty, staff and their spouse/registered domestic partners. Payroll deduction is available. For eligibility and rate information, visit the Recreational Sports Programs website or stop by the IMA. If you have questions, contact Member Services at 206-543-4590 or

Winter Quarter Recreational Sports class and intramural registration begins Dec. 27. Make the commitment to reach your health and fitness goals or learn a new sport or skill by signing up for a fitness or sports class. Try it before you buy it! Don't miss Preview Week, Jan. 9-13, a week of drop-in classes to help you find your fit. Feeling a bit more competitive? Participate in an organized recreational competition. Structured leagues, tournaments and special events are offered in a variety of sports activities each quarter. For team sports, the Olympic Division is open to graduate students, faculty and staff only. You must be an IMA member to register for classes and intramurals. View the winter quarter online course catalog beginning Dec. 19. Registration begins Dec. 27. For more information on eligibility and registration, visit the Recreational Sports Programs website.

New for 2017, the Faculty/Staff Quarterly Mindfulness Pass! Recreational Sports Programs is expanding mindfulness programming for faculty and staff. The Faculty/Staff Quarterly Mindfulness Pass is $40 (plus tax) and gives you access to register for any of the mid-day mindfulness classes offered at the HUB at no additional cost (does not include any classes in the IMA). An IMA membership is NOT required to purchase a Mindfulness Pass or participate in off-site mindfulness classes. The winter quarter online course catalog will be available Dec. 19. Mindfulness Passes can be purchased beginning Dec. 27. For more information on mindfulness offerings, visit the Recreational Sports Programs website.

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