The Resource

In This Issue

UW Combined Fund Drive
Saving & Investing
Retirement Seminars
Home Loan Program
Career Development

Published: November 14, 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 is Here!
Do you want to choose a different medical or dental plan, or add previously uncovered dependents to your PEBB health coverage? Are you thinking about enrolling in a 2013 pretax savings program such as a Flexible Spending Account or the Dependent Care Assistance Program? The entire month of November is Open Enrollment—your chance to do any of these things! Be sure to act by November 30. Visit the Open Enrollment webpage for more information.


Dependent Care Assistance Program: Stretch Your Dollars Further in 2013
Are you looking for a great way to save valuable tax dollars on childcare or elder care expenses? By enrolling in the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), you save money in your paycheck now because the deductions are exempt from taxes. To participate in DCAP in 2013—whether as a new or returning participant—enroll by November 30 for benefits to begin January 2013. Learn more and enroll in a 2013 DCAP account.


Save Even More with a Flexible Spending Account
Another great way to save valuable tax dollars in 2013 is by enrolling in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). The FSA is a tax-free account that saves you money on eligible medical expenses. Whether you wish to participate for the first time or renew an existing account, you must enroll by November 30 for activation by January 1, 2013. Learn more about FSA and how to enroll.

Important Note: If you plan to enroll in a consumer-driven (high-deductible) health plan with a health savings account (CDHP-HSA) in 2013, you and your spouse will not be able to participate in a 2013 FSA because you cannot hold both types of accounts in the same tax year. If you already have an FSA for 2012 and you choose or continue a CDHP-HSA for 2013, you will be required to use all FSA funds by December 31 without a grace period.


Winter Weather is on the Way
With Hurricane Sandy's disruption on the East Coast and winter weather fast approaching, now is the time to make sure you understand the UW’s policies on suspended operations and inclement weather. Learn about telework options, how your pay and/or leave balances could be impacted, and where to look for official UW announcements regarding operational status.

  • The Inclement Weather Policy addresses employee time off when the University is in operation, but local weather conditions are hazardous or impact transportation.
  • The Suspended Operations Policy is used when UW officials temporarily suspend non-essential operations, requiring only staff performing essential functions to report to work.

Nominate a Peer for the Distinguished Staff Award
Do you know an extraordinary colleague whose work seems to surpass every expectation? Consider making a nomination in their honor for the Distinguished Staff Award. The award celebrates individuals and teams who exemplify overall excellence and provide outstanding sustained service or a special one-time contribution to the mission of either the unit or University.

Up to five individuals and/or teams will receive the honor, along with $5,000, at the Annual Awards of Excellence ceremony. Visit the Distinguished Staff Award site to nominate UW staff. One nomination letter (600-1200 words) and three support letters (300-600 words) for each nominee is required. Nominations are open until December 7.


Nominate a Faculty or Staff Member for the Thorud Leadership Award
Do you work with a visionary leader, one who collaborates with broad impact and brings a practicality to complex problems? It’s time to consider nominating a faculty or staff member who you feel has shown exemplary leadership.

The David B. Thorud Leadership Award celebrates Dean Emeritus Thorud’s longtime service to UW. Recipients will be presented the award at the University’s Annual Awards of Excellence ceremony in spring. Those selected receive the honor along with $2,500.

Visit the award website to learn more about the award criteria and how to nominate an outstanding UW leader. The deadline for nominations is December 7.


Several health insurance reforms in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are due to take effect on January 1, 2013. The following apply to PEBB’s medical plans, and may directly impact you or your loved ones.

Preventive Care Services for Women: Will be expanded to cover preventive care services and treatments for women including contraceptive methods, sterilization, breastfeeding counseling and equipment, and other services and treatments with no cost-sharing for members. Please check with your plan for coverage details.

Contribution Limits for Flexible Spending Accounts: FSA maximum contributions will be reduced to $2,500 per enrollee in 2013. (Current maximum contributions are $3,600.)

Value of PEBB Coverage Reported (Not Taxed) on W-2 Forms: The PPACA requires employers to report the cost of group health plan coverage on employees’ 2012 W-2 form, to be issued in January 2013. The Internal Revenue Service states that the reported amounts are not taxable, but are intended to be informational only, and provide employees with greater transparency into overall health care costs.

New Benefits Summary Makes Plan Comparison Easier: The PPACA requires that you receive an easier, more standardized comparison tool for your medical plan benefits, terms, and conditions. Called the Summary of Benefits and Coverage, this tool allows you to compare things like:

  • What is not included in the plan’s out-of-pocket limit?
  • Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
  • Are there services this plan doesn’t cover?

The summary will not replace PEBB’s current online benefits comparisons, plan descriptions, and certificates of coverage. Learn more at PEBB’s Health Care Reform page or view the chart.

UW Combined Fund Drive  

Special Campaign to Support Hurricane Sandy Response
Lives lost, neighborhoods wrecked, and systems decimated. The day after Superstorm Sandy brought flooding, fire, and even snow, “millions without power faced the prospect of up to a week without heat, light, or refrigeration,” according to NBC News. Response efforts are underway, and you can help.

The UW Combined Fund Drive has collaborated with the state CFD office to set up a special campaign that includes charities working on the ground in affected areas. Here’s what you can do:

Donate online or by paper giving form with an ongoing payroll deduction, one-time deduction, or check to any of the following organizations:

  • American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund #1468727
  • ASPCA: American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals #0315252
  • Catholic Charities USA #0464556
  • Children's Hunger Fund #1480279
  • Convoy of Hope #0464880
  • Feed the Children #0456587
  • Humane Society of the United States #0314983
  • New Generation Ministries #1479402
  • Samaritans Purse #0315531
  • World Vision #0315530

You may also donate by credit card through November 23 and your gift will be divided between the above charitable organizations. Choose “Hurricane Sandy Relief Campaign” from the event dropdown.

Also note that blood is in demand as the hurricane has caused hundreds of American Red Cross blood drives to be cancelled, so it's critical that those of us in unaffected areas donate blood now.


School Employees Credit Union Partners with UW Combined Fund Drive
Open an account at School Employees Credit Union of Washington and receive a $25 new account bonus. In addition, $10 will be donated to the UW Combined Fund Drive (up to $2,500) for every new member acount opened now through November 30! Use promo code UWCFD. Learn more at

Saving & Investing  

New Roth 403(b) Option is Here!
As of November 1, there are two exciting changes to the Voluntary Investment Program (VIP)! The first is that Fidelity Investments has taken on the roll as the master administrator for VIP accounts, meaning that it's now easier for participants to track their investments and save on fees.

The second change is that a new investment option was added to the VIP—the Roth 403(b). VIP participants now have the option of making pre-tax 403(b) contributions, after-tax Roth 403(b) contributions, or a combination of the two. (Note: Total combined contributions cannot exceed the Internal Revenue Service’s contribution limits.)

A Roth can be attractive to those who believe that their personal tax rates will increase over time and that their tax rate may be higher in retirement. Unlike a Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA), which has restrictions on use for those above certain income levels, a Roth 403(b) is available for use by anyone, regardless of income level. Learn more and enroll at


Great American Smokeout is November 15!
Join the “Great American Smokeout” on November 15—the date when smokers everywhere are encouraged to make a personal quitting plan. If you or a loved one smokes, this is a great time to enroll in a tobacco cessation program. As a PEBB health plan enrollee, you and your dependents can receive free smoking cessation services through the Quit for Life program. See how to enroll and say goodbye to tobacco today!


Immediate Feedback and Easy Rewards
Get immediate feedback on your health risks when you complete a brief, confidential, online health risk assessment. Plus, if you’re a Uniform Medical Plan member, you can also earn up to $60 in rewards. All adult enrollees are eligible to participate in the assessment. To get started, visit Washington Wellness and select your plan.


Diabetes Awareness Month
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, the time to come together as a community to stop diabetes. Diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Eating healthy, being physically active, and quitting smoking also can help lower the risk of diabetes complications. Learn more about diabetes care.


Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Booster Vaccine
As Washington continues to experience a pertussis or whooping cough outbreak, state leaders are recommending that adults, adolescents, and children (at least 12 months old) get immunized with the whooping cough (Tdap) booster vaccine. This is especially important for people who are in close contact with babies younger than 12 months—such as parents, siblings, grandparents, health care providers, and child care providers. If you're unsure whether you've had the vaccine, check with your health care professional before receiving it.

Where to get a Tdap shot?

  • Attend a Tdap Clinic on Wednesday, November 28 at the UW Tower Cafeteria or Thursday, November 29 at the Health Sciences Lobby. Both clinics run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Download and bring this completed Tdap Claim Form in advance. Shots are administered by
  • Contact Hall Health at 206-616-2495.
  • Call your family doctor for an appointment.

For more information, read this Tdap vaccine information statement.


Hearing Aid Options for Hearing Loss
Are you or is someone in your family starting to experience hearing loss and ready to learn about new hearing aid technology? UW Speech and Hearing Clinic is offering a free informational seminar about today's hearing aid options for hearing loss. The seminar is open to UW employees, family members, and caregivers. Call 206-543-5440 or email the clinic at to reserve a space in the next available session on Wednesday, December 12, at the Social Work Building. View or download event flyer.

Retirement Seminars  

Retiring in 2013?
If you're a participant of the UW Retirement Plan (UWRP) or a Department of Retirement Systems plan (PERS, TRS, or LEOFF) and you're thinking of retiring next year, consider attending a free workshop to learn how to best prepare yourself for the next stage of your journey. Access information and register for a seminar.

Home Loan Program  

Accelerate Your Mortgage Payoff
Early mortgage payoff is a strategy many homeowners consider upon approaching retirement. In this Mortgage Accelerator seminar, you’ll weigh the advantages of paying extra each month versus shortening your term, learn how to read amortization schedules, and become aware of mortgage scams. Attend this free lunchtime seminar on November 20 at Seattle’s UW Tower, November 29 at UW Tacoma, or December 19 at UW Medical Center. Presented by our Hometown Home Loan Program partner, HomeStreet. Access event information and registration.

Also, schedule a pre-qualification appointment and get your individual mortgage questions answered. Half-hour appointments are available at Tacoma on November 20, and UW Tower on November 26 and December 17. Contact the Affinity Lending Center at 206-628-0207 today.


Caring for the Caregiver
When caring for an aging or ill loved one, it is important to also take care of yourself. This month, CareLink offers a tip sheet to help you care for your own needs as you care for others. Suggestions include prioritizing tasks by making a list of what absolutely must be accomplished each day; caring for your whole self by eating well, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and making regular doctor visits; watching for signs that you may be depressed; and building a support network that you can ask for help when you need a break. Part of self-care is knowing when to reach out for help.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, UW CareLink offers free, confidential counseling services that include up to five sessions with a state-licensed professional. UW CareLink also provides elder care consultation and referral services for UW employees and can be a source of some much needed assistance as you face this challenge in your life.

To access the full array of resources by phone, call 866-598-3978 to talk to a consultant. You may also use the LiveConnect instant messaging tool through the APS HelpLink portal by logging on to (enter “UW” as the company code). Look for the LiveConnect button in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage to connect with a consultant who specializes in elder care referral services.


Who Takes Care of the Caregiver?
UW CareLink will offer a webinar, “Who Takes Care of the Caregiver?,” on November 20 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. To register go to (enter “UW” as the company code) and look for “Online Seminars” in the lower right-hand corner of the page.


Art and Science of Communication: UW CareLink's Third Workshop
Join us for UW CareLink’s third and final fall workshop on Thursday, November 29, at noon, in the UW Tower Auditorium. Alex Smith, LMHC, CEAP, will present.

Workshop description
With the pace and stress of life ever-increasing, communication becomes more complex. Since satisfying relationships are linked to mental and physical health, there’s good reason to focus on how we can enhance our connection with others by improving how we communicate. Recent developments in neuroscience point to some good news: we can change our interactions with others by looking at how our brain works and recognizing established communications patterns. By adopting a few basic rules and learning to disengage destructive response patterns, we can experience not only improved communication, but we can gain the support from our relationships that helps us better manage life.

The workshop is free and no registration is required. Feel free to bring your lunch for this noontime session. Further details are on the WorkLife Events page.

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.


Assessing Your Career Fit
Leverage two powerful assessment tools—the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory—to help you through a career transition or with your career development. Explore work tasks and environments that might be a good fit, ways to make a job more interesting, and methods to create more work/life balance. Access course information and registration.


Good Internal Practices and Fraud Prevention Tips
To prevent fallout from a fiscal fiasco, faculty, administrators, and staff must understand internal controls. In this half-day class, learn how to recognize early warning signs of fraud, and gain knowledge of internal controls and simple procedures to reduce risks. Access course information and registration.


Managing Stress
Can difficult events become less troublesome, and change less uncomfortable, when approached in a new way? Take a day to discover how to adjust your attitude or outlook when faced with challenges, put things in perspective, and increase your ability to accept and appreciate your life. Access course information and registration.


The Not-So-Simple Sentence -- Revisiting Punctuation and Grammar
In this age of texting, tweeting, and emailing, the rules of grammar and punctuation can be mystifying. In this interactive class, get back to basics with this practical, hands-on review of sentence structure and grammar and punctuation fundamentals. Access course information and registration.


Register Now for December Webinars
Whether you’re interested in Accomplishing More With Less, committed to Managing and Organizing Your Inbox in Outlook, or hoping to discover Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks for the Mac, there’s a POD Webinar for you this December! To optimize learning, these dynamic live webinars include advance distribution of the webinar slides via email and a link to a recording of the webinar afterward. Access webinar listings and registration.


Discover New Possibilities through 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.


Helping Students in Distress
Faculty, teaching assistants, academic advisors, and other student services professionals work closely with UW students and may be the first to notice concerning behavior from students. Violent behavior often is preceded by signs that a person is not coping well and could include a change in academic performance, ongoing classroom disruptions, and expressions of self-harm. Faculty and advisors may sense that something needs to be done to address the behaviors and underlying distress, but may not be quite sure what to do. SafeCampus and its partners in Health and Wellness, the Counseling Center, SARIS, and UW Police Department can help. SafeCampus offers consultation on the behavior of concern being presented, tips on following up with the student, and referrals to on- and off-campus resources. Reporting and responding to student behaviors of concern could help prevent a violent act in the future. Learn the signs and know how to get help.


Radford Court Offers Discounts to UW Employees
One, two, and three bedroom apartments are available at Radford Court, all at a discount for UW employees. Radford Court is located next to Magnuson Park with its access to Lake Washington, and is just three miles from UW. The complex is on 24 acres of park-like property and includes parking, playgrounds, a fully equipped gym, and a community room. Apartments are pet-friendly. Amenities include washer/dryer in the unit, dishwasher, and complimentary Internet. Radford Court is an easy commute to school and work, with convenient bus lines to UW and downtown. For bike commuters, the Burke-Gilman Trail is close by.


Dawg Discounts
As a faculty or staff member, you can purchase Husky season tickets at a significantly discounted price to attend Husky football and basketball games. All faculty and staff season ticket buyers will be required to provide an employment verification form to the Husky Ticket Office each year to qualify for the discount. Call the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 (between 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday) and provide your UW Faculty Staff ID number. Go Dawgs!

For more discounts, view the UW Discount Program.


Take a Break: Get Out of the Rain and Into Some Art
The Special Collections Lobby in the Allen Library South—Lower Level hosts The Highest State Without Desire—photographs by Li Mingyang. On display through Friday, November 16, these contemporary photographs depict the culture and spirituality of nomadic herders in the Dzachuka region of east Tibet. Mingyang’s work supports the efforts of the Kilung Foundation, bringing humanitarian aid to Dzachuka while answering the call for Buddhist teachings in the West.

At the Henry, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell runs through January 27. For the past 25 years, Mitchell has approached his artistic exploration of the shared human experiences of love, death, sex, and spiritual trial and redemption with sincerity and intuitive intelligence. From his earliest experiments with resin and paper to his extended engagement with ceramics and his latest multi-part installations, Mitchell has consistently investigated the decorative and the theatrical, and blurred distinctions between art, craft, and functionality. Admission to the Henry Art Gallery is free to UW staff with valid Husky ID.

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