The Resource

In This Issue

Career Development
UW CareLink
Combined Fund Drive
Home Loan Program
Retirement Planning

Published: January 11, 2012

Happy new year from UW Human Resources! 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.


Annual Attendance Incentive Program – Deadline January 31
Each January, UW employees who accrue sick leave and who have a year-end balance exceeding 480 hours may request to be paid for a portion of their unused sick leave that was accrued but not used in the previous calendar year. Payment is made at the rate of 25% of the hourly equivalent of your pay rate and all hours compensated are deducted from your sick leave balance. The Payroll Office must have all attendance incentive payment forms by Tuesday, January 31, 2012, at 5 p.m. Submit the form to your department in time for processing and delivery to the Payroll Office by the deadline. UW Medicine employees, please note that there is a Medical Centers-specific form. See program information and the required forms.


Annual PERS3 Transfer Window Opens
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 Plan 3 through January 31. (Note that you must earn service credit in January 2012 to be eligible to transfer and your decision to join Plan 3 cannot be changed at a later date.) Learn more about the PERS Plan 3.


Flexible Spending Account Grace Period
Did you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through December 31, 2011? If so, you have a 2½ month grace period—from January 1 through March 15, 2012—to incur claims against your 2011 FSA. All eligible FSA claims for services provided from January 1 through March 15, 2012, will automatically be processed against the 2011 plan year first, if filed by the claims filing deadline for that plan year. If your claim exceeds the available funds from the 2011 plan year, any excess will be automatically applied to your 2012 FSA if you are enrolled in one. Otherwise, funds will be forfeited. Learn more about FSA.

Note: if you elected to change to a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) with a health savings account (HSA) for 2012, you were required to use all FSA funds by the end of 2011 with no grace period.


Distinguished Staff Awards Reception
Come celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of UW staff at the 2012 Distinguished Staff Awards reception. Join us as we honor all of our nominees with a festive celebration. This event is open to the UW community and guests of nominees.

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Time: 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: UW Tower Cafeteria

Please bring your Husky card or a photo ID as the UW Tower is a secure building. View information about getting to the UW Tower.

Visit the DSA website for more information.


Start Fresh: Quit Tobacco this Year
Here’s a win-win opportunity for tobacco users. Enjoy revitalized lungs, a fatter wallet, and lower health care costs by quitting tobacco using the Quit for Life program. You’ll find plenty of information that supports your New Year’s resolution to stop smoking. Start today!


Weight Management for 2012
While weight loss is arguably the most popular New Year's resolution, many people begin without the support needed to achieve their goals. Here are a couple of ideas to help you get started:


Sports & Fitness Classes at the IMA Begin January 17
Looking for a convenient, fun, and affordable way to stay active during winter quarter? Register for Sports & Fitness classes at the IMA! Winter quarter classes run from January 17 through March 9, and offerings include Group Fitness, Yoga, Pilates, Sports Classes, Martial Arts, Cycling, Aquatics, Weight Training and TRX Suspension Training. Spaces in winter quarter classes are filling up quickly. Visit the IMA Sports & Fitness website for class availability, descriptions, and registration costs and information.

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.


Discovering Your Dependable Strengths
The more you know about your strengths, the more you understand how to adapt them to different careers and the changing demands of the workforce. This two-day workshop uses a proven process for uncovering what you do best and learning new ways to use your unique excellence. Access course information and registration.


Strategic Planning Tools
In this highly interactive half-day class, learn about planning tools and steps and practice incorporating mission, vision, goals, and other components into your strategic planning. Participants are encouraged to bring a task or goal to class to plan. Access course information and registration.


Time Management
Don't let time get away from you this year! In this half-day class, evaluate how your time is currently being spent, learn prioritization techniques, and improve your time management skills so that you feel more productive and less stressed at work. Access course information and registration.


Hourly Career Counseling
Thinking about your resolutions for the new year? Through one-one-one career counseling, you can learn how to make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or explore a new career path. Sessions are offered through Training and Organization Development Consultant Susan Templeton for $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 this service.

UW CareLink  

Welcome to 2012!
Have you made your resolutions for the New Year? UW CareLink has some suggestions to kick start your personal growth plans:

  • Make a list of your goals for the coming year.
  • Find a mentor who is an expert in your areas of interest and can help you achieve a particular goal.
  • Volunteer in order to explore your interests.
  • Network to build relationships with people in the know.

Find more ideas for personal growth and family fitness.


Financial Fitness
If you are more concerned about your financial health, consider registering for a free “Financial Fitness: Living Within a Realistic Budget” webinar on January 17:

  • Log in to the CareLink website using “UW” as the company code.
  • Scroll down to the “Online Seminar” section of the page and click on the “Financial Fitness: Living Within a Realistic Budget” link.
  • Select the session you would like to attend.

For further help with financial planning in 2012, call 1-866-598-3978 to set up a 30-minute consultation with a certified financial professional, who can assist you with college funding, charitable giving, debt issues, budgeting, retirement planning, and more.

Combined Fund Drive  

UWCFD Makes it Easy to Volunteer
Looking for volunteer opportunities? The UW Combined Fund Drive is proud to announce a new volunteer search tool on the UW Combined Fund Drive website. Simply enter a keyword or charity name along with your zip code to find opportunities at non-profit organizations in our community that match your interests!

Home Loan Program  

Homeownership 101 Seminars
The Hometown Home Loan Program is here to help you learn about homeownership issues like first-time home buying, refinancing an existing home, tapping into home equity, and more. Check out these January/February seminars:

  • Refinancing & Using Home Equity — Seattle (1/17)
  • Budgeting for a Home — Harborview (1/18)
  • Buying a Condo — Seattle (2/21)
  • Understanding Credit — Bothell (2/23)

Access event and registration information for these seminars.


Homeownership Counseling Appointments
Schedule a personal homeownership counseling session with a HomeStreet Affinity Loan Officer who can walk you through the home buying and/or home refinancing 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. Access event information and registration.

Retirement Planning  

Resolve to Save More for Retirement
Does maximizing your retirement savings rate high on your list of New Year's resolutions? When you consider that people are living longer and health care costs are on the rise, it's easy to see why it should. The IRS limit on pre-tax contributions allows you to save up to $17,000 this year, plus if you'll reach age 50 by the end of 2012, you can make an additional $5,500 "catch-up" contribution to quickly boost your account balance and make up for lost time as retirement nears. Learn more about the contribution limits and catch-up provisions of the Voluntary Investment Program (VIP).

For an added boost, you have the option of participating in the Washington State Deferred Compensation Program (WSDCP). In fact, you can participate in your basic retirement plan, the VIP, and WSDCP in the same tax year at the same time.


First Quarter Review of Your Retirement Portfolio
Spend time this quarter getting your financial matters in order for 2012! Representatives from Calvert, Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, and Vanguard are making frequent visits to campus to provide individual retirement plan checkups. They're available to meet with you and your spouse—either by phone or in person—to provide general investment information, discuss your savings objectives, or review an existing account. Sign up for your free consultation today!


Social Security: A Foundation for Planning Your Future
Do you know what benefits to expect from Social Security and when they will be available to you and your family members? Register to attend a free seminar on February 22 at Health Sciences to gain a better understanding of how the Social Security and Medicare systems work. Access seminar information and registration.


Violence Prevention & Response Training
Preventing violence on campus is a responsibility we all share as UW community members. Early intervention with appropriate resources or referrals helps reduce the risk of violence occurring. Come learn about warning signs, UW resources for counseling and safety, and policies so you know whom to call and what to do. January 26, 11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m. (Odegaard), February 13, 12:30–1:20 p.m. (Health Sciences) or March 6, 10–11 a.m. (UW Tower). Register now for this free training session.


Books from UW Press
Curl up near a warm, crackling fire and read a good book! Check out the latest books available through University of Washington Press—the UW's nonprofit book and multimedia publishing arm. Faculty and staff receive a 10% discount when placing an order online or by phone (1-800-537-5487) using the WUWE code. For more discounts, see the UW Discount Program.


Take a Break
Examine local and global approaches to the environment with new eyes by visiting two new exhibits on campus this month.

Particles on the Wall” unites art and science to explore “the nuclear age, Hanford history, and its impacts on humans and the environment” at Odegaard Undergraduate Library.

The “Hungry Planet” exhibit opens at the Burke Museum on Saturday, January 28. Photographs of ten families from around the world highlight food traditions while additional content covers food issues from sustainable farming to cultural survival. Admission to the Burke Museum is free to UW staff with valid ID. Visit the Burke Museum website for more information.

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