The Resource

In This Issue

Career Development
The Whole U
Money Matters
Combined Fund Drive
Retirement Savings
Home Loan Program

Published: December 10, 2014

Happy Holidays from the University of Washington Human Resources! We hope this year’s offerings in The Resource newsletter have brought you helpful and worthwhile benefits-related information. We will continue to highlight the unique benefits of working at the UW and bring you the most beneficial employee news and events each month. Our goal is to help you make the most out of your employment at UW. Best wishes!


Life & LTD Insurance Rates Change Effective January 1
Premium rates for supplemental term life insurance and long term disability (LTD) insurance are increasing effective January 1, 2015. If you enrolled in either of these optional benefit programs through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB), you will see premium increases on your paycheck starting January 25. You can view the new PEBB rates at the Benefits website or check your coverage at Employee Self Service.

Also, remember that you're allowed to take any of these actions at any time without having to wait for the next open enrollment period:

  • Apply to enroll in or increase supplemental life insurance, when accompanied by "Evidence of Insurability"
  • Reduce your optional life insurance coverage
  • Update your life insurance beneficiary
  • Apply for optional long LTD insurance or reduce your LTD waiting period, when accompanied by Evidence of Insurability
  • Increase your LTD waiting period

Learn more.


Annual PERS 3 Transfer Window Opens January 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 January 1 and January 31, 2015. To be eligible for the transfer, you must earn service credit in January 2015. This one-time transfer is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change plans at a later date. See Transferring from PERS2 to PERS3.


Contribution Limits for 2015
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. For 2015, the contribution limits will be:

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) - Annual deduction amount must fall between $240 and $2,500. Learn more about FSA.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) - For those enrolled in a PEBB high-deductible health plan with an HSA, the combined employer/employee contribution limits will be: $3,350 for individual coverage; $6,650 for family coverage; and an additional allowable $1,000 for a "catch-up" contribution, if you are 55 or above. This represents an increase from 2014 of $50 for individual coverage and $100 for family coverage. The catch-up contribution limit remains the same. Learn more about HSA.
  • UWRP & VIP Retirement Plans - The maximum combined employee/employer contribution limit allowed under IRC for 403(b) plans such as the UWRP and VIP is $53,000 (up $1,000 from 2014). For the VIP only, an additional $6,000 is allowed for each year, if you are 50 or above. Learn more about the limits.


Career Development  

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


Explore a Wonderland of Winter Classes
Registration is open for dozens of Winter 2015 offerings! New options include the in-person classes Working Smarter and Thinking On Your Feet, as well as the webinar Managing and Organizing Your Email Inbox—Google Apps. Make plans now so you don't miss out on classes typically offered just once a year, including Customer Service Excellence, Introduction to Research Administration, Managing Corrective Action the UW Way, Master Process Planning, Recharge Center Seminar, Strategic Planning Tools, and Working Across Generations. View POD's winter classes.


Cozy Up to Winter Webinars
Stay out of the cold and enjoy the warm glow of your computer screen with classes you can take at your own desk! January webinar topics cover a variety of Microsoft Office programs and Google apps in 90-minute or two-hour sessions. The registration cutoff is one week before each webinar's start date, so be sure to register promptly! View webinar schedule.


Ring in 2015 With a Fresh Look at Your Career
Are your skills and strengths well-suited to your present position and the needs of your department? Is your current job aligned with your long-term career goals? POD's Susan Templeton can help you answer these crucial questions—and evaluate your strengths, plot your career path, or gear up for a job search—through one-on-one career counseling. The fee is $95 per one-hour session if paid with a UW budget number (with supervisor approval) or $109.82 if paid with cash, check, or credit card (due to a mandatory institutional overhead fee). Explore your career development options.

The Whole U  

Ovations Performance Showcase
Last chance for this one-night special event that will astound you with the talent of our faculty and staff. Bring family, friends, or colleagues to the beautiful Meany Theater on Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m. Learn more or reserve your seats now.


Bring Mindfulness Into the Holidays
Only 15 spots left for this workshop on Thursday, December 18 at noon. Dr. Suzanne Kerns will present at the Center for Child and Family Well-Being on self-care during this busy time. She'll teach us how to set the family up for success and lead us through an activity. You'll emerge with a clear plan to enjoy the festivities and keep your family stress-free. Register now.


Beat the Winter Blues
The sky is gloomy, it's dark, and the days are short. Learn how to get through it with Dr. David Avery, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry. He will lead a one-hour beat-the-winter-blues seminar on Wednesday, January 21 at 5 p.m. You'll walk away with a handout that includes tips to get a sound sleep, suggestions for light therapy products, and a two-week sleep diary worksheet. Sign up now.


Dare to Do in 2015
The Whole U is supporting your New Year's resolutions with Dare to Do, our New Year's Challenge where you choose from three competitions: Weight Loss, Steps Taken, and/or Minutes Exercised. Stay motivated by participating in workouts with some of the UW's most celebrated coaches, keep accountable by reporting your successes each week, and take your healthful goals even further by following nutritious recipes provided by UW Medicine dieticians. The challenge runs Monday, January 12 - Sunday, February 22. The first 1,000 faculty and staff participants receive a long-sleeve Whole U performance t-shirt. Register now.


Break Another Record with The Whole U
In 2014, 1,200 UW faculty and staff came together to make history. Together, they set the Guinness World Record for the largest kettlebell class ever. On Wednesday, January 28 at noon we are going to do it again, but this time we're taking over beautiful Husky Stadium and showing the world we're not afraid of a little rain. President Michael Young will kick off this special event and together we will twist, box step, and shake our way into history with the world's largest umbrella dance. There are only 2,000 spots available for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Faculty and staff receive priority registration December 1 - 12. After that we will open up registration to students, retirees, and family members at least 12 years of age. Secure your spot now.


Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Booster Shot Clinic
Adults, adolescents, and children are encouraged to get immunized with the whooping cough booster "Tdap" vaccine, particularly those in close contact with babies younger than 12 months. UW Benefits is sponsoring a drop-in vaccination clinic for UW faculty, staff, and students and their covered dependents. If you're unsure whether you've had the vaccine, please check with your health care professional before receiving it. Health plans being accepted at this time include PEBB's Uniform Medical Plan and Group Health, Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP) and International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP).

January 13
10 a.m.-2 p.m. UW Tower Cafeteria, C-Building Map

January 15
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Health Sciences Lobby Map

While no appointment is necessary, please bring your photo ID and health insurance card. Also, download and complete this claim form so the vendor can bill your plan directly.


Mammography Screenings for UMP Members
If you're a woman age 40+ who's enrolled in Uniform Medical Plan (UMP), consider scheduling your next routine mammogram at the MammoVan! The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's MammoVan is a customized, mobile breast imaging clinic bringing the latest technology in digital mammograms to you at your workplace. Convenience, state-of-the art technology, and exceptional quality are reasons why women choose this service.

The MammoVan is scheduled to visit campus once every other month throughout 2015 starting on January 28 near the UW Tower. Appointments are available to UMP members on a first-come, first-served basis between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The average appointment time is just 15 minutes.

Access screening information and schedule an appointment.


What's Your Score?
Be healthier for the people in your life! Take this 30-second Risk Quiz to find your score and see if you're at risk for diabetes. While being pre-diabetic means you're at risk for Type 2 diabetes, it's possible to reverse this condition through the "NOT ME" prevention program.

NOT ME is a free benefit available to PEBB members who are 18+ and enrolled in PEBB's Uniform Medical Plan or Group Health. If you (or your dependent age 18+) score 9 or higher on the above risk quiz, visit your doctor or attend one of these free screening events on campus:

  • January 9 and 23 - Health Sciences Building, Hogness Auditorium, Room A420, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • January 28 - UW Tacoma, Milgard Assembly Hall, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

While drop-ins are welcome, scheduling an appointment is recommended. Complete this online or by calling US Wellness customer service at 866-926-6099 x326 between 5:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (PST).


Follow-Up Sessions for Pre-Diabetics
If you recently completed a 16-week NOT ME Diabetes Prevention Program class series—either on campus or in your community—trained coaches are available to help you stay on track. Save the date to attend free monthly follow-up sessions for up to eight months after you complete your initial class series. These group support sessions also apply to adults 18+ who are on your PEBB health plan. No registration necessary, just drop-in.

Tuesday, December 16
2:00-3:00 p.m.
UW Tower, Building C, Room C-107
Room located next to the Benefits Reception Desk


New Enhanced Bicycle Registration
The UW Police Department has partnered with Project 529™ to enhance the UW's bicycle registration program. 529 Garage, the industry's first mobile-based bicycle registration and recovery system designed for college campuses, is being rolled out to students, staff, and faculty across UW as part of a comprehensive attack on bike thefts.

529 Garage app - Once a victim reports a bike theft from their phone, the 529 Garage alerts cyclists within proximity of the crime. Details and photographs of the missing bike and its last-seen location are shared to other 529 Garage members in the area who can respond with tips to the owner and police right from their phones.

Tamper-resistant shields - A tamper-resistant 529 shield applies a unique ID to bikes and alerts would-be thieves that the bike is in the system. This allows police to contact the owner if they recover a stolen bicycle or if a bike is improperly parked or locked.

UW students, staff, and faculty can pick up their free 529 bike registration kit at the ASUW Bike Shop, the Police Department in the Bryants building, or the University Transportation Center on 15th Ave NE.

Already registered with the UWPD? You do not need to re-register. Just download the 529 Garage app from the app store of your choice or pick up a shield at the three locations noted above. Need to register your bike? Register online at the Project 529 website.

Money Matters  

TurboTax Discount Available
Fidelity has teamed up with TurboTax® to extend their tax preparation software and support at a discounted price to UW faculty and staff including those without an existing Fidelity account.* As a result, you can prepare and file your taxes with confidence and save money too! This is a limited time offer so take advantage of discount pricing of up to $20 on TurboTax Federal products. Visit this special Turbo Tax site to get started.

Also, remember to call 866-811-6042 to speak with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant to review the tax benefits of your retirement savings and other savings options now, or at any time of the year.

*Note, this offer cannot be retroactively applied towards previously purchased TurboTax software.


Free Financial Education Seminars
Our credit union partners offer free financial education seminars, each held during lunchtime and open to all UW faculty and staff. Access seminar registration for these events.

  • Scams, Shams & Identity Theft - Better protect yourself, your money, and your personal information. Presented by Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) on January 7 at UW Tower and January 15 at Tacoma.
  • Social Media and Your Child's Financial Future - Learn effective strategies to share with your child and avoid the top 10 social media mistakes. Presented by School Employees Credit Union (SECU) on January 8 at Bothell, January 12 at South Lake Union, and February 11 at Health Sciences.



Resilience in the Face of Stress
While you can't always control what happens to you, you can develop the resiliency that keeps you functioning when life throws you a curve ball. This month's UW CareLink Tip Sheet lists some ways that you can start building resilience in your daily life.

For a deeper exploration of resilience, UW CareLink will broadcast a one-hour webinar "Self-Care: Remaining Resilient" on December 16 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. PT. You must pre-register at least one hour before the presentation. Visit (use "UW" as the company code) and click on the Online Seminars section. Select the presentation and then register by clicking on the first or second session option. The webinar will also be archived on the site and available for viewing by the beginning of January.

If you feel like you need professional help to sort through a recent stressful life event, UW CareLink offers benefits-eligible faculty and staff, their household members, and their dependent children free, confidential counseling services. To find out more call 866-598-3978 or visit (use "UW" as the company code) and click the LiveConnect button on the upper right of your screen.

Combined Fund Drive  

Support the University District Food Bank this Month!
This month, UW is supporting the University District Food Bank with a campus food drive! The Food Bank meets the nutritional needs of many local families, serving more than 5,000 households and distributing 2.3 million pounds of food annually. See their Donate page for the items they welcome.

Consider sponsoring a barrel in your office this month. Barrels can be delivered directly to your office, lab, or lobby. Please contact Executive Director Joe Gruber at or 206-523-7060 and tell him: what size barrel you'd like (large is 4' tall and small 1.5' tall), how many you need, and when and where you'd like the barrels delivered.

You may also collect food in boxes of your own and contact the Food Bank when you'd like the food picked up. Donation flyers are available for you to print.

Many barrels are scheduled to be picked up the week of December 22, but let Joe know if you'd like your barrel picked up at a different time. The University District Food Bank is one of the more than 4,000 nonprofits in the UW Combined Fund Drive campaign.

Retirement Savings  

Meet a 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-CREF 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

Get started today!

Home Loan Program  

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.

Access registration for any of the following seminars:

  • Refinancing and Using Home Equity - December 16 at UW Tower and December 18 at Health Sciences
  • Understanding Credit - January 12 at UW Tower and January 22 at South Lake Union
  • Buying a Home with Down Payment Assistance - January 21 at Tacoma

Homeownership Counseling
Get your ducks in order before you start on the path of home ownership! Schedule a personal homeownership counseling session with an Affinity Loan Officer who can walk you through the process. These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are free, private, and informative. Your spouse, partner, or potential co-signer is welcome to attend with you. Schedule an appointment today! Ask about Free Loan Reviews too!


UW to Move to Biweekly Pay in December 2015
Did you hear the news? UW will be moving to biweekly pay cycles beginning in December 2015. This change will not impact how much employees are paid per year; it will change the frequency of pay.

UW will move to the biweekly pay cycle on December 20, 2015, to support the first payroll of 2016. Employees will be paid every two weeks on Friday; there will be 26 pay periods per year instead of the current 24 pay periods. Because pay is distributed more frequently, the amount in each check will be slightly less than the current semi-monthly amount. The University also will standardize the workweek to Sunday through Saturday. One of the reasons for standardizing the workweek is to meet FLSA workweek requirements to calculate overtime. Learn more about these changes.


Retirement Transitions Workshops
Registration is now open for the following Retirement Transitions winter workshops:

  • January 14: Who's Got Your Back? Growing Older Without Kids (whether you have them or not!) - led by Liz Taylor, award-winning journalist, popular speaker, consumer educator, and policy pioneer on a host of aging issues
  • January 21: Your Choices in End-of-Life Planning - led by Jim Green, UW retiree, recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, and UW Senior Lecturer Emeritus
  • January 28: Into that Good Night: How It Happens and the Legacy We Leave - led by Jim Green

Workshops will be held from 5:00-6:30 p.m. on the UW Seattle campus.


Take a Break
Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired features work by artists whose practice has been inspired by the objects in the Burke's collections, demonstrating how today's artists and art historians learn from past generations. The exhibit will include contemporary works in a variety of media alongside the historic pieces that artists identify as key to their learning.

Here & Now celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Bill Holm Center and explores the dynamic relationship between the Burke Museum and Northwest Native art, artists, and scholars.

Admission to the Burke Museum is free for UW staff with valid Husky Card. For more information, including hours and location, visit the Burke's website.

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