The Resource

In This Issue

Open Enrollment
UWRP/VIP Changes
Career Development
Home Loan Program
Retirement Planning

Published: October 10, 2012

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.

Open Enrollment  

Medical/Dental Open Enrollment is November 1-30
It’s that time of year again—annual Open Enrollment is just around the corner! Check out the approved health plan changes for 2013 made by the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB), which are now posted on the Faculty and Staff Open Enrollment website. The good news is that Uniform Medical Plan monthly premiums will be decreasing for both the Classic and Consumer Driven Health plans in 2013, and life and long-term disability insurance rates will remain the same. (Note: Employer/employee cost sharing stays at 85/15 percent, including premiums, deductibles, and copays.)

Some contribution limits are changing in 2013. For example, if you plan to (re)enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, note that the FSA contribution limit will decrease from $3,600 to $2,500 in 2013 as mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act. Or, if you plan to enroll in a Consumer-Driven Health Plan (CDHP) with a Health Savings Account, you’ll find that the maximum HSA contribution limit will increase to $3,250 for individual coverage and to $6,450 for family coverage for 2013, up by $150 and $200 respectively.

Changes made during the Open Enrollment period—which runs November 1-30, 2012—will become effective January 1, 2013. So pull out your calculator and worksheets! Now is an excellent time to review your entire benefits package to see if your current medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurances are still the best fit for you and your family.


Benefits Fairs are Coming!
Save the date to attend a UW Benefits Fair on October 30 at Harborview Medical Center, October 31 at UW Medical Center/Health Sciences Building, or November 1 at the newly renovated Husky Union Building. This is an excellent time to explore all the benefits available to you and your family and meet the vendors. View Benefits Fair details.


Stretch Your Dollars with a Flexible Spending Account
Looking for a great way to save valuable tax dollars on health expenses? Consider a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)—an IRS-approved, tax-free account—that can save you money on eligible medical expenses. All benefits-eligible employees who wish to participate in a FSA in 2013, whether new or returning, must enroll during the month of November for benefits to begin January 1, 2013. Limitations may apply, including:

  • If you plan to enroll in a high-deductible health plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) in 2013, you and your spouse will not be able to participate in a 2013 flexible spending account.
  • If you already have an FSA in 2012, you will be required to use all funds by the end of this year with no grace period or claims “run-out” period.
  • At the federal level, a change in the Affordable Care Act mandates a reduction to the maximum FSA contribution limit of $2,500 starting in 2013 (down from this year’s limit of $3,600). There is no change to the limits for those using an HSA with a high-deductible health plan.

Dependent Care Assistance Program Helps You Save More
If you're currently paying for child or adult care, consider taking advantage of pre-tax savings for these expenses. The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) allows you to take a deduction from your pay for eligible dependent care expenses before taxes are calculated. You save money in your paycheck now because the deductions are exempt from taxes. Whether you're applying for the first time or renewing for 2013, see how to enroll in DCAP this November.

UWRP/VIP Changes  

Guiding You through Exciting Changes Ahead
If you’re currently participating in the University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP) and/or the Voluntary Investment Program (VIP), you should have received a Transition Guide at your home address. This guide explains the changes that are about to take place under the plans. (Note: Department of Retirement System plans such as PERS, TRS, or LEOFF are not affected by these changes.) We encourage you to study the guide, consider any actions you might take, and be aware of key implementation dates and blackout periods (starting on page 7). Also, be sure to set your email filters at work and home to allow receipt of future electronic mailings from Fidelity.


Need Help with the Transition?
One-on-one consultations are available with both Fidelity workplace planning and guidance consultants or TIAA-CREF representatives, either in person or by phone, to discuss the transition and its impact on you. Use this opportunity to ask detailed questions about your retirement accounts and steps you can take now to help ensure a successful retirement. Schedule your appointment with Fidelity by visiting the Fidelity website or by calling 800-642-7131. Schedule your appointment with a TIAA-CREF representative by visiting the TIAA-CREF website or by calling 800-842-2252. One-on-one meetings will continue to be available after the transition period ends.

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.


Building Team Relationships
Whether you’re the head of a work team or a household, you probably recognize that groups of people have different needs at different times. In this one-day workshop, explore the components of healthy teams, group structure and process, and key interpersonal communication skills as you experiment with new tools and identify ways to enhance your teams. Access course information and registration.


Business Email Etiquette and Management
We’ve all received email that’s useful and effective—or effectively useless. In this half-day course, discover tips and strategies for writing effective emails, formatting content for readability, choosing the right tone, organizing your inbox, and deciding when a phone call is more appropriate than an email. Access course information and registration.


POD Webinar: Accomplishing More With Less
Through three short sessions over three weeks, this webinar is designed to refocus how you respond—instead of react—to today's demanding work environment. The robust webinar content and complimentary companion book will help you establish sustainable practices for effectively managing your time, priorities, and information overload. Access webinar information and registration.


POD Webinar: Microsoft Word 2010 Techniques
In 90 minutes, this live webinar covers time-saving techniques for creating, managing, and formatting documents, including using styles, headers and footers, bookmarks, and hyperlinks. You’ll also explore collaborating with others by sharing documents and tracking changes, as well as applying dozens of shortcuts to streamline your everyday work. Access webinar information and registration.


Discover New Possibilities Through One-on-One Career Counseling
Discover how to make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or investigate a new career path through one-on-one career counseling. Sessions are offered by Training and Organizational 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.


Campus Flu Shot Clinics
Get a flu shot! Take advantage of your Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) medical plan and get immunized for the seasonal flu at one of several convenient campus locations between now and November 1. No appointment is necessary. Bring your photo ID, your health insurance card, and a completed claim form so we can bill your UW plan at no cost to you. View the flu shot schedule.


Join the Great American Smokeout
Mark your calendar for the 2012 Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 15. This is the date when smokers everywhere are encouraged to make a personal quitting plan. If you're a smoker, consider enrolling in a tobacco cessation program today! Those insured under PEBB will receive free services through the Quit for Life program. Learn more about smoking cessation.


Be Bold and Have Fun—Ride in the Rain!
Each year during the month of November, UW bicyclists join in the Annual Ride in the Rain Challenge. Participants register for the challenge through Commuter Services, then track the number of one-way bike trips they make between school or work on campus and their home, making special note of when it is raining. Weekly results are posted on the website during the week following the Ride Week. Find out more by visiting the Ride in the Rain website.

In addition, check out this quarter’s bike class lineup:

  • Getting Ready for Ride in the Rain, October 16
  • Gear and Lights for Winter, November 6
  • Rules of the Road, November 13
  • Winter Bike Maintenance, November 20
  • Holiday Gifts for Bicyclists, November 27

Bike Classes are brought to you by U-PASS and Cascade Bicycle Club. Space is limited, so register today!


Welcome Back: Overview of SafeCampus Services
As another school year begins for UW, SafeCampus would like to highlight its services available to everyone in the UW community. SafeCampus provides a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week hotline for people to call about situations that seem unsafe or could become violent. SafeCampus staff are available for safety planning and consultation, and provide referrals to UW and community resources such as UWPD, your Human Resources Consultant, or community groups. We also provide training to help our community understand concerning behaviors that could lead to violence. The fall quarter training sessions are:

  • Thursday, October 25, at 10 a.m. in Health Sciences D209
  • Wednesday, November 14, at 1 p.m. in the UW Tower Auditorium
  • Thursday, December 13, at 10 a.m. in the Allen Library Auditorium

Visit the SafeCampus website for more information about our services and community resources, and to register for training.


Free Hearing Screenings and Discounts on Ear Plugs
Back by popular demand! Get a free hearing screening between October 15 and December 5. Reserve your hearing screening appointment by calling the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic at 206-543-5440 or email Space is limited.

Also, celebrate National Protect Your Hearing Month by receiving 10 percent off the listed price on custom ear plugs during October. Consider these if you’re a swimmer or musician, listen to headphones regularly, or need extra protection in noisy environments. See UW Discounts.


Empty Nest and College Prep
Fall can be a difficult time for parents dealing with an empty nest. As children grow up and leave home, their parents must deal with new and changing roles. The UW CareLink Tip Sheet for October, “Tending to an Empty Nest,” has some great ideas for coping with this transition, including brushing up on technology to keep in touch with your child, encouraging problem solving when your child calls in crisis, volunteering your newly available time to explore your interests in the community, and paying attention to your partner in order to reconnect.

For families whose children have not yet left the nest but are anticipating the move to higher education next year, UW CareLink will offer a free online seminar entitled “Preparing to Enter College” on October 16 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. To register, log on to the APS Helplink site using “UW” as the company code. Click on the link for the seminar under “Online Seminars.”

Parents who are having a hard time adjusting to an empty house can take advantage of UW CareLink’s free, confidential counseling services. Counseling services include up to five sessions with a state-licensed professional. These services are also available to children who are leaving home—UW CareLink can help to locate a counselor for your child wherever they may be located in the U.S. To get started, simply call 866-598-3978.


UW CareLink Workshop on Stress Management
With fall quarter kicking into high gear, now is a good time to refresh your stress management skills. On October 25, Sue Covey will present “Stress Management from the Inside Out.” This free workshop will run from 12-1:15 p.m. in the UW Tower Auditorium. Read more about this informative workshop.

Home Loan Program  

Accelerate Your Mortgage Payoff
Homeownership is a major responsibility, and paying off your mortgage early is a strategy you might consider as you approach retirement. In the Mortgage Accelerator seminar, you’ll explore your options, learn how to read amortization schedules, weigh the advantages of paying extra each month versus shortening your term, and become aware of mortgage scams. This free lunchtime seminar is offered Tuesday, November 20, at Seattle’s UW Tower and Thursday, November 29, at UW Tacoma. See the seminar lineup for the rest of the year, including:

  • Home Maintenance through the Seasons, October 16
  • Budgeting for a Home, December 18

Access event information and registration.


Homeownership Counseling
Thinking of buying or refinancing a home? Why not schedule a personal homeownership counseling session with a HomeStreet 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. Access event information and registration.

Retirement Planning  

Who Will I Be When I Retire? A Workshop to Find Meaning and Purpose in Retirement
Reinvent a life worth living! Plan for retirement and create a compelling, positive vision for your personal future. Through reflective exercises and group discussions you will explore themes, roles, and values that can energize your post-employment years.

This workshop will be most valuable to individuals or couples approaching retirement, but anyone at any stage of life with an interest in non-financial retirement planning is welcome to attend. Led by Nancy Wick, recently retired from UW News and Information, and Maurice Warner, retired associate director of the UW Counseling Center.

Open to UW employees, retirees, alumni, and their partners/spouses. It will be held on Tuesday, November 6, from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at the UW Club, Seattle campus. The cost is $15 for UWRA and UWAA members; $25 for non-UWRA/UWAA members. Sign up today or register by calling the UWAA at 206-543-0540. Access workshop information and registration.

UWRA membership is open to current UW employees. Learn more about UWRA and how to join.


Social Security: A Foundation for Your Future
A secure, comfortable retirement is everyone's dream. And now, because we're living longer, healthier lives, we expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Learn what benefits to expect from Social Security and when benefits will be available to you and your family. Attend the seminar, "Social Security: A Foundation for Planning Your Future," to gain a better understanding of how it and Medicare works. This session is offered on Friday, October 26, at UW Tower. Access seminar information and free registration.


Ready to Retire?
If you're thinking of retiring in the next 12 months, consider attending one of these workshops to learn how to construct a sound strategy. Workshops are free and based on your current retirement plan and/or eligibility.

  • Retiring from UW Retirement Plan (UWRP)
  • Retiring from Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)
  • UW Supplemental Retirement Plan (UWSRP)

Access workshop information and registration.


Kick Off the 2012 UW Combined Fund Drive Campaign
You’re invited to the Combined Fund Drive Charity Fair on Wednesday, October 10, in the newly renovated HUB north ballroom from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Meet more than 90 charity representatives, bid on silent auction items, enjoy refreshments, and win door prizes! Visit the Charity Fair page for details.


Celebrate the UW’s Birthday on November 2
Show your purple pride and join your fellow Huskies on campus, online, and in the community to celebrate the UW’s birthday. Stop by Red Square on Friday, November 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for live music and giveaways including W flags, purple T-shirts, and Cupcake Royale cupcakes. W flag distribution begins at 10 a.m. T-shirt and cupcake giveaways begin at noon (one per person while supplies last). The suggested donation is a nonperishable food item(s) for the University District Food Bank.

Show your UW spirit by participating in volunteer events around campus. Huskies everywhere can join the fun with online photo contests. And don’t forget to wear your favorite purple or UW-licensed gear on November 2 to be eligible for great promotions and discounts from participating Seattle-area retailers. See the W Day site for details.


Campus Rape, Sexual Assault & the Victim Blame Game
According to the American Medical Association, campus rape and sexual assault claim a new victim every 45 seconds. And sadly, a recent survey reveals that 54 percent of women and 57 percent of men believe that rape victims are sometimes to blame for the crime. Perhaps this is why more than 70 percent of rape and sexual assault incidents are never reported.

Join the UW campus community for two impactful presentations about rape and sexual assault, and learn about your role in stopping these silent crimes.

  • She Asked for It! Why We Like to Judge Rape Victims
    Rape is a crime that is no stranger to college campuses. Anne Munch will discuss commonly held beliefs about victims, offenders, and the meaning of consent, and the important roles these beliefs play in how rape cases are perceived and handled. Anne's presentation, hosted by the UW Women's Center and generously funded by Michael Ann Herring and Jim Phelps, takes place Monday, October 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Kane Hall, room 120.
  • Sexual Assault: Victim Rights & Support
    Jennifer Storm, a content expert on victim’s rights issues, a survivor of sexual assault, and a woman in recovery from addiction, will speak about the complexities of victimization, developing coping mechanisms, and how to heal as a survivor. She also will discuss the need for victim-centered practices and the cultural shift toward victim support. Her presentation, sponsored by UW Police, takes place Wednesday, October 17, at 7 p.m. in Kane Hall, room 140. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Take a Break
Internationally acclaimed video artist Pipilotti Rist is highly regarded for optically exuberant work that engages viewers' bodies and senses. This fall, the Henry will install Rist's immersive projection A la belle etoile, in conjunction with the Seattle Art Museum's exhibition Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Admission to the Henry Art Gallery is free to UW staff with valid Husky ID.

October 6, 2012—March 23, 2013
Henry Art Gallery, East Gallery

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