The Resource

In This Issue

Your Benefits
Home Loan Program
The Whole U
Career Development
Money Matters
Retirement Savings

Published: March 11, 2015

Compensation at the University of Washington goes beyond salary. The UW offers a vast range of benefits—from the traditional to those offered by other premier employers to those that are truly unique to working at the UW. The Resource—UWHR's e-newsletter—keeps you informed of all of these offerings so that you can make the most out of your UW employment.

Your Benefits  

DCAP Grace Period
Did you have a Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) account last year? If so, you must submit outstanding claims for the year to Flex-Plan Services no later than March 31. If you don't file claims by that date, your account will be closed and any balance remaining will be forfeited to the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA). Once the money is forfeited, you will not be able to claim it. Learn more about DCAP.


FSA Grace Period
Did you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through December 31, 2014? If so, you have a 2½ month grace period—from January 1 through March 15, 2015—to incur claims against your FSA through Flex-Plan Services. All eligible FSA expenses for services provided from January 1 through March 15, 2015, should be submitted to Flex-Plan no later than March 31, 2015 so they can automatically process claims against the 2014 plan year or until your account balance reaches zero. If your claim exceeds the available funds from the 2014 plan year, and you are enrolled in a 2015 FSA, you can submit excess claim amounts to Flex-Plan Services. Remember, if you elected the Consumer-Directed Health Plan with a Health Savings Account for plan year 2015, you were required to incur services, file claims, and receive reimbursements for 2014 FSA expenses by December 31, 2014. Learn more about FSA.


Tender Loving Care Program Discontinued!
UW WorkLife has recently learned from Virginia Mason that they are discontinuing their Tender Loving Care program as of March 31, 2015. TLC has provided much needed care for the children of many of our faculty, staff, and students, and we’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the TLC staff. Unfortunately, this decision was out of our hands. We are actively working to find alternative options to this program and we hope to have potential solutions soon. For more information, please contact Director of WorkLife and Childcare Access Amy Hawkins.

Hometown Home Loan Program  

UW Home Improvement Fair is April 9
Spend small, save big! Drop by the UW Home Improvement Fair for affordable and innovative ways to improve your home. Chat with interior designers, home-efficiency specialists, and other home improvement experts. Enjoy refreshments and enter to win door prizes, including a chance to win a Kindle Fire! All expenses are paid by HomeStreet Bank and participating exhibitors.

Drop by the Fair on Thursday, April 9 between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at HUB Lyceum, room 160.

View event details.


What’s Your Next Move?
HomeStreet offers free lunchtime 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. (For an expanded version of this class, see the next workshop.)

Buying a Home with Down Payment Assistance – Learn about the many programs that could help you get into a new home.

Buying and Remodeling a Fixer-Upper – Great information for "Do-It-Yourself" homeowners.

Bonus! First-Time Home Buyer Workshop – Learn how to make a budget and prepare your credit, get a comprehensive overview of the home buying process, and ask questions from non-commissioned loan officers and other real estate professionals before you start looking for a home.

Access event information and registration.


Weight Watchers’ Open Houses
Are you struggling with weight issues? Do you have trouble motivating yourself to exercise? UW Benefits sponsors Weight Watchers at Work meetings at four locations, each designed to help you manage your weight and stay active. Faculty and staff are invited to attend one of the following Open Houses:

  • Tuesdays, Schmitz Hall – March 24
  • Wednesdays, UW Tower – March 25
  • Thursdays, Harborview Medical Center – March 26
  • Fridays, UWMC/Health Sciences – March 27

View "special open house event" details at the Weight Management webpage.


Well-Being Assessment Available
SmartHealth offers a Well-being Assessment for Uniform Medical Plan and Group Health members. The tool helps you understand your strengths, pinpoints areas to improve, and suggests healthful activities.

  • Earn 800 points for completing the Well-being Assessment by June 30, 2015.
  • Bonus! Earn 100 bonus points if you complete the Well-being Assessment by March 31, 2015.

Learn more and get started.


Mammography Screenings for UMP Members
Are you a woman age 40+ who's enrolled in Uniform Medical Plan/Regence? If so, consider scheduling your next routine mammogram at the MammoVan! 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 the Seattle campus six times a year with the next one scheduled to arrive on March 25. 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.


Aging Loved Ones, What To Do?
You may have concerns about an aging relative who has become forgetful or one who lives alone but may be ready for group living. Questions around caring for our elders can be daunting and draining. WorkLife presents a special Eldercare series led by Mary Lynn Pannen, a leading expert in geriatric care. Her expertise and passion for quality care has made her a sought-after speaker and advisor. Sessions are held in the UW Tower Auditorium from noon to 1 p.m. They are free, and you are welcome to bring your lunch. Register to attend one or all of the following:


Emergency Preparedness
Do you know what to do in extreme weather or a natural disaster? Do you have a transportation plan? Or an emergency kit that covers your health needs? Preparation can reduce the physical impact and emotional trauma associated with emergencies. This month’s tip sheet from UW CareLink helps us prepare for these unexpected hazards.

For more information on safety strategies, UW CareLink will broadcast a one-hour webinar “Practical Strategies to Stay Safe” on March 17 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. You must pre-register at least one hour before the presentation. Visit (use "UW" as the company code) and click 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 April.

The Whole You  

Vikram Jandhyala & Jacquelyn Jaech on Innovation
Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Hear from two thought leaders on entrepreneurship and innovation: Vikram Jandhyala, vice provost for innovation and professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Jacquelyn Jaech, a UW alum and Seattle-based entrepreneur with a proven track record in product marketing. Come to the Tower on Friday, March 20 at noon to learn, be inspired, and discover your true innovative spirit through a guided exercise. Register now.


Whole U Speaker Series: Stay Healthy at Any Age with Dr. Thomas Walsh
Attend this special seminar dedicated to men’s health with one of UW Medicine’s renowned physicians. You’ll hear expert advice on how to manage your health as you age, understand which screenings you should make a priority, and discover how it all impacts your urologic health. You’ll also receive a practical checklist to take with you to your next doctor’s appointment. Partners and guests of any gender are welcome at this event. Join us Tuesday, April 7 at 5 p.m. in Haggett Hall. Sign up now.


Prepare for Cycling Season
Cycling season is here and we have a panel of campus experts ready to answer all of your cycling-related questions. Hall Health Physical Therapists Sarah Hanna and Brenda McKenzie will provide a tutorial on proper bike fit. Upcoming biking activities will be discussed by Chris McKenzie, cardiac sonographer, and Dr. Larry Dean, professor of medicine/surgery in Cardiology, founders of the UW Medicine Cycling Club. Bring your bike and your questions and get ready to meet UW colleagues from all walks of life who love to bike, too. Join us on Wednesday, April 8 at noon in the HUB. Sign up now.


Tour UW Farm
Farming doesn’t only happen out in the country. Explore urban farming at the UW Farm at Mercer Court. The tour will allow you to see a unique farm and learn how growing food is possible in urban settings. Learn how drip irrigation, cover crop, crop rotation, and compost contribute to the sustainability of UW, and hear about volunteering and learning opportunities. If you’ve ever been curious about the UW Farm, this is your chance to hear firsthand from the volunteers who run it! The tour is on Wednesday, April 15 at noon at Mercer Court. Register now.


Find more upcoming Whole U events.

Career Development  

Professional & Organizational Development (POD) courses 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.


Spring Training Has Begun!
Registration is open for training that covers all the bases, from communications to fiscal procedures, HR policy, leadership strategies, and productivity tools. While major league teams are far afield in Arizona and Florida, you can attend classes right here in Seattle or access live webinars from your own computer. Learn new techniques to help you hit it out of the park with offerings such as Kaizen Methods and Practice, Learned Optimism: Understanding Your Explanatory Style, Microsoft Excel Macros, The Trust Advantage, and the annual Support Professionals Spring Retreat. Access upcoming classes and events.


Cure Your Spring Fever
Whether the increasingly long and warm days tend to make you feel restless or listless, the Support Professionals Spring Retreat could be the perfect remedy. Take a day away from the office, connect with peers, and enjoy the great food and beautiful waterfront setting offered by Bell Harbor International Conference Center at this all-day event for support staff at the UW. This year’s topics focus on enhancing self-awareness, appreciating differences, finding balance, and improving communication to help you become more adept and energized in every aspect of your life. Register for the Support Professionals Spring Retreat.


Spring Forward With Your Career
Now that the clocks have been set forward an hour, perhaps it’s time to look ahead and think about what’s next for your career. One-on-one career counseling can help you assess your career fit, make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or plot a new career path. Sessions with Training and Organizational Development Consultant Susan Templeton are $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). Learn more about career counseling.

Money Matters  

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

  • Financial Yoga: Stretching Your Hard-Earned Dollars – Learn tips that will help you gain control of your finances and reduce financial stress.
  • Scams, Shams, and Identity Theft – Learn how to better protect yourself, your money, and your personal information.
  • Social Media and Your Child's Financial Future – Learn effective strategies for your child and the top 10 social media mistakes to avoid.
  • Credit Reporting 101 – Come away with valuable tips to help you get the most from your creditworthiness.

Access seminar information and registration.

Retirement Savings & Investments  

Whether you're starting out, building wealth, or getting ready to retire, the Benefits Office sponsors free seminars packed with information that can help you through your journey. The following is a list of seminars offered on campus by Fidelity representatives.

Building a Portfolio for Any Weather

  • Determine an appropriate investment mix and your investment style
  • Select investment options that fit your investment approach
  • Manage your strategy to help meet your long-term goals

Confident Investing in Any Market

  • Evaluate if you have the right mix of investments
  • Assess what factors impact portfolio performance
  • Identify different investment vehicles to help reduce taxes

Getting on the Right Path with Your Workplace Savings Plan

  • Effectively balance your saving, spending, and debt
  • Set goals and develop a plan to reach them
  • Estimate how much to save for retirement and set your contribution rate

Income Strategies for Your Retirement

  • How to address need for inflation protection vs. market risk
  • Key portfolio risks in retirement and how to make your money last
  • How to balance portfolio risk vs. return in retirement
  • How to create withdrawal strategy that will mitigate the key risks of retirement

Access seminar registration and information.


Social Security: A Foundation for Your Future
A secure, comfortable retirement is everyone's dream. Now that we're living longer and healthier lives, we expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Join us at this free Social Security seminar to get a better understanding of how Social Security and Medicare work.

Learn what benefits to expect and when these will be available to you and your family. Open to UW faculty and staff. Your spouse or partner is welcome to attend with you.

Wednesday, July 22
11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Health Sciences Building

Access seminar information and free registration.


How Do Your Savings Stack Up?
Experienced financial professionals from Fidelity or TIAA-CREF are available to meet with UW employees in person or over the phone to help maximize retirement savings and other financial goals. Take advantage of this opportunity to:

  • See how you can save more through Voluntary Investment Program (VIP) contributions, either pre-tax or after-tax (Roth)
  • Evaluate investment choices that meet your needs
  • Create an action plan to get and stay on track for retirement
  • Review retirement income options

Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, schedule a free retirement planning guidance appointment today!


Are You Ready?
If you're planning to retire from the UW within the next 12 months, be sure to attend a free retirement workshop to help you plan for this major milestone. Each workshop is geared toward your specific retirement plan—UWRP, PERS, TRS, or LEOFF. Topics include arranging details for retirement, tailoring your benefits to best meet income needs, and continuing your health plans. Timelines, forms, and procedures are also covered—plus you'll receive all of the materials necessary to file for retirement.

Remember, you must apply for PEBB retiree benefits (or deferral of insurance) within 60 days after UW-paid or COBRA coverage ends. If you miss that deadline, you will have to go back to work to re-qualify for PEBB retiree coverage.

Access workshop information and free registration.


Take the Earth Day Challenge
Make Washington greener and more livable! Participate in the Earth Day Challenge from April 13-24. The Challenge is presented to UW faculty, staff, and students by the UW Combined Fund Drive and EarthShare Washington, and it supports 35 premier conservation groups doing great work right here in Washington.

You can participate in three ways. Make a one-time donation to one of the 35 conservation groups or to EarthShare Washington. Or create a challenge team and pick a volunteer activity. Track your volunteer hours, and each hour counts as a $10 donation towards UW's goal. The third way to get involved is to “Do Your Share” where you decide on one change you’ll make to help the environment and post a picture or a 6-second Vine video of you doing it!

Find a range of volunteer opportunities on the UWCFD volunteer page.


UW to Continue with Semi-Monthly Pay in Workday
Due to many complexities in UW’s pay practices, along with challenges in reporting employee compensation on a monthly basis to the State, the HR/Payroll Modernization project will not require the move to a biweekly pay cycle. Rather, the University will maintain a semi-monthly pay frequency in Workday. The pay frequency for all UW employees will remain the same as it is now, occurring on the 10th and 25th of each month. Learn more about this decision and next steps.


Walk Safely at Night
Concerned about walking alone on campus at night? Three services are available to you:

  • NightRide—Free with a U-PASS, NightRide shuttles operate weekdays during the academic year (excluding University holidays) from 8 p.m.-1:40 a.m. All shuttles are wheelchair accessible and operate every 20-30 minutes. Download the Ride Systems app from the iOS or Google Play stores.
  • Husky NightWalk—A walking escort for students, staff, and faculty. A uniformed security guard provides a safety walk to and from campus locations between 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. year-round. Hours vary during months of later darkness. Call 206-685-WALK to request an escort.
  • UW Medical Center Public Safety Escorts—UWMC public safety officers will escort UWMC employees from the main entrance on the third floor to nearby parking lots daily from 3:30 p.m.-6 a.m. From the same third floor location, a free van service is available weekdays from 5 p.m.-1:30 a.m. For more information, contact the UWMC security officer at 206-598-5555.

UW and Seattle Children's Hospital have partnered with Madrona Ridge to offer 184 quality apartment residences in the U-District with priority given to eligible UW faculty/staff and Seattle Children's employees. UW employees now have an opportunity to pre-lease apartments before they are offered to the general public.

Bridges@11th features comfortable, urban apartments, and town homes for permanent faculty, staff, and their families. Located in the heart of the U-District, adjacent to UW Tower and close to the Seattle campus, Bridges@11th has a high walk score and is just minutes away from shopping, dining, theatre, and amenities. A waiting list is forming now for units scheduled to open in spring. Learn more about Bridges@11th.

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