The Resource

In This Issue

Savings & Investing
Retirement Planning
Home Loan Program
Career Development

Published: February 8, 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.


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 and to view a list of all nominees.


Supplemental Life Insurance Reenrollment Period is Open
Good news! Not only did the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program's supplemental life insurance rates decrease this year, but PEBB is now sponsoring a one-time Open Enrollment Period during the month of February to allow some employees to apply for increased supplemental life insurance coverage for themselves and/or their spouse/qualified domestic partner without evidence of insurability (medical review). If you and/or your spouse/qualified domestic partner currently have PEBB supplemental life insurance and have not been previously declined for PEBB life insurance in the past, you are eligible for this special open enrollment. (Note: If you do not have supplemental life insurance at this time, you can still apply for additional life insurance at any time with evidence of insurability.)

Visit Employee Self Service to see whether you have supplemental coverage and/or verify your current insurance coverage, then decide if you want to increase your coverage. For more information, view Special Life Insurance Open Enrollment. For help in deciding how much life insurance you need, check out the calculators and tools available at the ReliaStar Life Company website.


Verify Your Life Insurance Coverage By March 1
The PEBB notified employees in a January 20, 2012, letter to the home address of record that coverage amounts on file as of March 1, 2012, will be considered final. Verify that your life insurance amounts on file with the UW are correct by logging into Employee Self Service and click the "Insurance" tab. You must notify the Benefits Office before the March 1, 2012, deadline if you believe there are any errors in your coverage amounts so that they can be reviewed and corrected.


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.


Weight Watchers: New Monthly Pass
Starting this month, Weight Watchers at Work is offering its new Monthly Pass. By signing up, you not only commit yourself to weight-loss success, but you also enjoy lower monthly fees, admission to unlimited meetings, and free access to Weight Watchers' eTools—the interactive web tools, tips, and recipes that help you stay on track. Learn more about Weight Watchers at Work.


February is American Heart Month
Did you know that walking for as little as 30 minutes a day will improve circulation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and promote weight loss? According to the American Heart Association, for every hour of regular, vigorous physical activity, like brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours. One of the best things you can do for your heart is walk on a regular basis. Try joining the UW's very own walking community at UWalk.

Savings & Investing  

Quarterly Market Update for Active Investors
Have recent changes in the financial markets impacted your investment strategy? Do you enjoy keeping a pulse on the market? Join us for an exclusive look at what's driving the economy, the financial markets, domestic and international stock performance, and bond market interest rates. Attend a free Quarterly Market Update at Health Sciences on Monday, February 13. Presented by a representative from Fidelity Investments. Access event information and registration.


Socially Responsible Investing
Are you interested in achieving financial security while helping to build a sustainable world and protecting our quality of life? If so, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) may be for you. Learn more about SRI funds and the role these can play in your personal investment and retirement planning. Attend a free lunchtime seminar on Wednesday, March 28, at Harborview Medical Center. Access event information and registration.


Need Help Focusing on Your Total Financial Picture?
Schedule a free, half-hour consultation today, and let one of our fund sponsors (Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, or Calvert) guide you to the right resource for help with a variety of financial needs, including:

  • College planning, estate planning, wealth management
  • Identifying strategies to help you meet your retirement and financial goals

To sign up for your free consultation, register online or by phone.

Retirement Planning  

Thinking of Retiring This Year?
If you plan to retire from the UW within the next 12 months, plan to attend a workshop that helps you get your ducks in order. Each workshop is geared toward your specific retirement plan — UWRP, PERS, TRS, or LEOFF. During each three-hour, practical retirement workshop, you will learn about arranging the details of retirement, tailoring benefits to best meet retirement income needs, and continuing medical plans. Timelines, forms, and procedures are discussed; plus, you'll receive all of the materials necessary to file for retirement. Access event information and registration.


Social Security: What to Expect
Do you know what benefits to expect from Social Security and when they will be available to you and your family members? Gain a better understanding of how the Social Security and Medicare systems work by attending this informative seminar—Social Security: A Foundation for Planning Your Future—on Wednesday, February 22, at Health Sciences. Access seminar information and registration.

Home Loan Program  

Our Hometown Home Loan Program offers this useful lineup of seminars that are free of charge and open to all UW faculty and staff:

Buying a Condominium
Learn the pros and cons of condo ownership, how to find the right community, and how to secure the right financing. Offered at noon on Tuesday, February 21 at the UW Tower.

Budgeting for a Home
How much cash will you need to buy a home in today's market? Learn how to create a household budget, set your savings goals, and pay off debt—all while saving for a home. Offered at noon on Wednesday, March 21 in the Health Sciences Building.

Moving Up: Buying Your Next Home
Is it time to move up to a bigger and better home? Learn what it takes to sell your existing home, what improvements pay off, and how to crunch the numbers to budget for your next home. Offered at noon on Wednesday, March 21 at South Lake Union.

The Path to Homeownership
If you are a first-time homebuyer, consider attending this seminar to learn about today's real estate market, how to use down payment assistance and special programs specially designed for you. Find out what costs to expect in your first transaction. Offered at noon on Tuesday, March 13 at UW Tacoma.

Understanding Credit
Do you know what credit history is important when getting ready to refinance your home? Learn how to clean up your credit history and how to fix errors. Offered at noon on Thursday, February 23 at UW Bothell.

Access event information and registration at the HomeStreet website.


Homeownership Dream to Reality
The Hometown Home Loan Program can help make your dream of homeownership a reality. Schedule a free, private, half-hour, one-on-one counseling appointment with a HomeStreet Affinity Loan Officer to discuss your homeownership options. Spouses, partners, and anyone else who might be on the loan are welcome to attend with you. HomeStreet will visit February 14 at Tacoma, February 24 at South Lake Union, and February 27 and 29 at Seattle. Register for an appointment now.

Career Development  

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


Customer Service Excellence
In this interactive half-day course, learn how all points of customer contact can occur in the best way possible—whether that's dealing with external customers on the "front lines" or providing service and support to colleagues down the hall. Access course information and registration.


Unlocking Possibility
Explore a ground-breaking approach that can help you leave your fears behind and realize your full potential. If you're stuck in a rut but ready to break free, this interactive workshop can help you unlock your possibility, both personally and professionally. Access course information and registration.


Working Across Generations
At no other time in history have as many different generations worked side-by-side as in today's workplace. Learn what motivates people of each generation, how to capitalize on respective talents, and ways to increase understanding and appreciation. Access course information and registration.


Hourly Career Counseling
You're the one driving your career—but at some point everyone needs to stop and ask for directions. Discover how to leverage your strengths, prepare for a job search, or explore a new career path through one-one-one career counseling. 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 these services.


Stalking Defined
Stalking generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property (Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice). If you or someone you know is being stalked, or you are concerned about this type of behavior, call SafeCampus at 206-543-SAFE (7233) to discuss safety planning.


Upcoming Training Sessions for Preventing Violence
Preventing violence on campus is a responsibility we all share. Learn the warning signs and how to respond in a free 50-minute training session. Open to students, faculty, and staff. Upcoming sessions are Monday, February 13, 12:30.–1:30 p.m. in Health Sciences D-209 and Tuesday, March 6, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in UW Tower Auditorium. Register now!


Gifts for Valentine's Day
Looking for that special something for Valentine's Day? If you're a U-PASS or FlexPass holder, you'll love the great deals on flowers, jewelry, gifts, performing arts, and restaurants available through Commuter Services' Merchant Discounts! Go to UW Discounts and click "UW Commuter Services" to see a list of merchants.


Family Caregiving
Did you know that more than 25% of the adult population in the U.S. has provided care or arranged for care to a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member in the past year? If you already are or anticipate becoming part of that demographic, UW CareLink has helpful suggestions for navigating the world of caregiving.

  • Schedule an hour per day for phone calls to and from your family member or his/her healthcare providers.
  • Meet regularly with other caregivers as sharing can ease the tension, offer new perspectives, and build support.
  • Keep good records of contacts and information from healthcare and service agencies to avoid relying on your memory.

Find more ways to balance caregiving duties with your daily responsibilities by reading the caregiver tip sheet.

If you are looking for particular services for an adult family member in need, consider using UW CareLink's consultants and resources by calling toll-free 1-866-598-3978 or login to (Use "UW" as the Company Code).

  1. Click on the "Aging" tab for articles, helpful tips, and webinars.
  2. Click on the "Older Adult Services" tab in the middle of the page to access CareLink's Older Adult Services Locator. This searchable database lists services, professionals, community support groups, and other important resources in your area. Listings include provider names and contact information.
  3. Click on the Live Connect Online button in the upper right corner of the page to chat with a consultant.

Do You Hear Me?
Do you ever feel like you just aren't getting through to people—both at work and at home? We could all use a refresher on our communication skills every now and then. Here are some ideas from UW CareLink for keeping the lines of communication open:

  • Practice active listening: Make mental notes as someone is speaking to you.
  • Paraphrase: Summarize what the other person has said to show that you understand.
  • Be aware of speech and body language: Note how you come across by videotaping a presentation or asking a colleague to take notes.

Read the rest of this month's tip sheet.


The Art of Listening and Giving Feedback
For more ways to enhance your communication skills, sign up for this free webinar on February 21 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., or 1 p.m.

Register online at (use "UW" as the Company Code).

Look for "Online Seminars" in the lower right-hand corner of the home page and select "The Art of Listening and Giving Feedback."


It Is Not Too Early to Plan for Summer
UW's Robinson Center offers 5th—10th grade students a unique combination of vigorous academic challenge and summer fun!

In the Robinson Center's Challenge program, 5th and 6th graders spend their summer on the UW's campus taking classes like the "Incredible World of Plants," in which kids extract DNA from fruit and visit Theo Chocolate factory, and "Puget Sound 2050," a class that combines chemistry, ecology, research, writing and theatre production to help students understand the past and analyze the future of the Puget Sound region.

Seventh—10th grade students may enroll in Summer Stretch, a series of accelerative classes designed to provide intensive instruction in a fast-paced curriculum. Stretch students build robots in "Physics: Rockets and Robotics" and explore the strategies of persuasion in "Argument and Debate."

Qualifying scores on the MSP or ACT/SAT are required. Visit the Robinson Center website for more information.


Make a Wish Come True (Ssshhh – It's a Surprise!)
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska & Washington, one of the more than 3,500 charities in the UW Combined Fund Drive campaign, has invited the UW community to participate in a unique wish for Alex, an 11 year old boy. This non-profit organization helps make wishes come true for children with life-threatening conditions.

Make-A-Wish has planned a surprise Flash Mob, rain or shine, on Friday, February 10 at 2:10 p.m. in Red Square on the UW campus. Choreography for the "mob" is posted on YouTube. You can also help out by participating as Alex's fan, creating fan signs, or dressing up in Star Wars or robot attire. Alex loves Star Wars!

For more information, visit the UW Combined Fund Drive website.


Winter Escapes
Looking for ways to escape during the long Seattle winter? There are a number of wonderful opportunities to get away, even for just 15 minutes, on campus this month.


Design Program in Rome Photographs
Travel the world without leaving town! This sampling of photos by UW students in the 2011 Design Program in Rome Exploration Seminar will transport you! Located in the Colleen Rohrbaugh Room at the University of Washington Club, the exhibit is typically open 8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m. weekdays. Call 206-543-0437 to confirm.


New Books in Print Series
The "New Books in Print" series provides opportunities for UW scholars to discuss their recent publications. Hazard Adams' latest book, The Day the Dogs Talked, is a modern fable for readers young and old. When a leash law threatens Hilltown, a place where dogs have always been free to roam as they like, the dogs decide that the time has come for them to speak out in protest. Adams, a UW Professor Emeritus in Comparative Literature, will speak on Tuesday, February 21, at 4:00 p.m. in Communications 202.


Barry Lieberman & Friends: Jazz master class with John Patitucci
Get your groove on with Grammy-Award-winning bassist John Patitucci as he leads a master class with UW jazz students on February 23 at 1:00 p.m. in the School of Music's Brechemin Auditorium. Learn more about the class.

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