The Resource

In This Issue

Combined Fund Drive
Saving & Investing
Retirement Planning
Home Loan Program
Money Matters
Career Development

Published: November 13, 2013

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 Ends Soon!
Do you want to choose a different medical or dental plan or add previously uncovered dependents to your PEBB health coverage? Have you considered enrolling in a 2014 pretax savings program such as a Flexible Spending Account or the Dependent Care Assistance Program? November is Open Enrollment which means this is your chance to do these things! Learn more about Open Enrollment.


DCAP: Stretch Your Dollars Further in 2014
Are you looking for a great way to save valuable tax dollars on child care or elder care expenses? By enrolling in Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), you save money in your paycheck now because the deductions are exempt from taxes. To participate in DCAP in 2014—whether as a new or returning participant—enroll by November 30 for benefits to begin January 2014. Learn more and enroll in a 2014 DCAP account.


Save More with a Flexible Spending Account
Another great way to save valuable tax dollars next year is to enroll 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, 2014. Learn more and enroll online.

Important Note: If you plan to enroll in a consumer-directed (high-deductible) health plan with health savings account (CDHP-HSA) in 2014, you and your spouse will not be able to participate in a 2014 FSA because you cannot hold both types of accounts in the same tax year. If you already have an FSA for 2013 and you decide to change your health plan to a CDHP-HSA for 2014, you will be required to use all FSA funds by December 31 without a grace period.


Nominations Open for Distinguished Staff Award
Consider making a nomination for the Distinguished Staff Award if you know a colleague, or work team of up to eight, whose work exemplifies excellence and clearly demonstrates the UW values of integrity, diversity, collaboration, and innovation. 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 and teams, through December 6.


Nominate Staff or Faculty for the Thorud Leadership Award
The David B. Thorud Leadership Award is unique in that it is given to one faculty and one staff member per year. Consider making a nomination if an individual before you shines, leads, innovates, and achieves broad goals. The faculty and staff member chosen for this award receives $2,500 at the annual awards event in spring. Visit the David B. Thorud Leadership Award site to nominate the UW staff and faculty member, through December 6.

Combined Fund Drive  

Help Needed for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan
The devastating storm that hit the Philippines last Friday has left millions in need of clean water, food, and shelter. You can help by giving through the UW Combined Fund Drive either through a one-time donation or an ongoing monthly pledge. See the list of charitable nonprofits that are on the ground providing disaster relief.


Celebrate National Philanthropy Day
This Friday, November 15, is National Philanthropy Day, a day that celebrates charitable giving around the world and recognizes its enormous impact across society. A simple question urges us to get involved: how are you changing the world?

This Friday also marks the midpoint of UW’s workplace giving campaign, the UW Combined Fund Drive where our goal is raising more than $2 million. The campaign got off to a great start at October’s Charity Fair& Silent Auction where, in three short hours, UW faculty, staff, and students raised more than $3,000 to benefit the Northwest Burn Foundation.

It’s a good time to consider giving to your favorite cause. Choose payroll deduction or one-time gift on the UWCFD site. You can also volunteer, mentor, staff an event, or even rally for a cause on social media.

To celebrate National Philanthropy Day and recognize those who are active in the philanthropic community, UWCFD is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page. To participate, post a brief explanation of why you give back to the community, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a Kinect Sensor.


Diabetes Awareness Month
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Did you know that by 2020, more than half of American adults will either have type 2 diabetes, or be at risk of developing it? Over 90 percent of those with pre-diabetes and a quarter of those already diabetic don't even know they have the disease!

Diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels by simply eating right, moving more, and quitting smoking. Learn more.

Also, PEBB is preparing to launch a free, evidenced-based program for diabetes prevention and control. The program supported by the Centers for Disease Control is called “Not Me” and will be launched on January 1, 2014. To see a preview of the program and take a Risk Assessment Quiz, visit


Weight Watchers Open Houses
Join us at one of two free Weight Watchers Open Houses to see how this “at work” program can benefit you!

November 13
11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
UW Tower, Benefits Conference Center, Room C-140-E

November 15
11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Health Sciences Building, Room T-359

Learn more about Weight Watchers @ Work.


Join the Great American Smokeout
The 2013 Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 21. This is the date when smokers everywhere are encouraged to make a personal quitting plan. If you're a smoker or know someone who is, consider enrolling in a tobacco cessation program. PEBB benefits allow you and your covered dependents to receive free services through the Quit for Life program.


Immediate Feedback & Easy Rewards
Get immediate, confidential feedback on your health risks when you complete a brief health assessment. All adult enrollees (age 18+) are eligible to participate. To get started, visit Washington Wellness and select your plan.

Saving & Investing  

Getting on the Right Path with Your Workplace Savings Plan
Are you on track to meet your retirement goals? How can you maximize your savings opportunities? Whether or not you’re already enrolled in your workplace savings plan, now is a great time to take a closer look at the benefits your plan has to offer.

Join Fidelity Investments at the free workshop, "Getting on the Right Path with Your Workplace Savings Plan," where you will learn how to:

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

Offered on November 14 at Bothell and UW Tower, and also on November 15 at Health Sciences. Access workshop information and free registration.


Building a Portfolio for Any Weather
The first step to smart investing is building a portfolio that’s appropriate for your situation. By understanding a few key investment principles, you can get more out of your retirement savings.

Join Fidelity Investments at the free workshop, "Building a Portfolio for Any Weather," where you will learn how to:

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

This seminar will be offered on December 3, 4, 10, and 12 respectively at the UW Tower, South Lake Union, Health Sciences, and Tacoma. Access workshop information and free registration.


Teaching Your Children Responsibility
This month’s UW CareLink webinar examines the path your child will follow from childhood dependence to adult independence and explores methods to encourage and nurture responsibility in children of all ages. Learn ways to teach your child decision-making skills in order to deal confidently and decisively with situations they will encounter growing up.

“Teaching Your Children Responsibility” will air on November 19 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. PST. To register, visit (enter “UW” as the company code) and look for Online Seminars on the lower right-hand corner of the homepage. Advanced registration is required for the live broadcast. The webinar will also be archived on the site and available for viewing by the beginning of December.


UW Carelink Lunchtime Seminar—Effectively Managing Workplace Stressors
We often experience multiple workplace stressors. They may include the challenge of juggling multiple priorities, ineffective practices, a lack of resources, and personal tendencies such as perfectionism. This seminar helps you identify the stressors that have the greatest impact on you right now. Learn practical tips on effectively managing your time, overcoming perfectionism, and utilizing technology as an asset. Learn ways to pay attention to your body’s response to stress, take stress breaks, set boundaries, build a support network, and find balance so you can recharge.

Join us on Thursday, December 5, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the UW Tower Auditorium. This workshop is free to all faculty and staff. Feel free to bring your lunch. Presented by Althea Brandis, MA, LMHC.


Family Nutrition
Healthy eating is an integral component of responsible adulthood. UW CareLink’s Tip Sheet for November offers great ideas for planning family meals, healthy snacks, and teaching your kids how to make good choices when you’re not around.


Counseling Services for the Transition into Adulthood

Making the transition into adulthood can be a rocky road. To help clear the path, UW CareLink offers up to five free, confidential counseling sessions to benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and their families. State-licensed, master’s- or doctoral-level counseling professionals can help coach you or your child through the rough patches. To find out more, call 866-598-3978 or visit (enter “UW” as the company code).

Retirement Planning  

Ready to Retire?
If you’re thinking of retiring within the next 12 months, don’t miss our free retirement workshop where you can gather information towards a smooth retirement. Workshops are based on your current retirement plan and/or eligibility. Access workshop information and free registration.

  • Retiring from UW Retirement Plan (UWRP)—December 11 and January 8
  • Retiring from Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)—November 27, December 10, and 26

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.


Prepare for the Best!
Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, take advantage of a free, one-on-one consultation with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant or a TIAA-CREF representative in a way that works best for you, by phone or in person. Use this time to:

  • Ask questions about saving for retirement and other goals
  • Evaluate investment choices that meet your needs
  • Create an action plan to stay on track for retirement
  • Review retirement income options

Get started today!

Home Loan Program  

Homeownership 101
Our Hometown Home Loan Program offers the following seminars—each are free of charge and open to all UW faculty and staff.

  • Understanding Credit - Credit history is critical when getting ready to refinance your home, but do you know why? Learn how to clean up your credit history, fix reporting errors, and more. Offered at UW Tower on November 19, Bothell on November 21, and Health Sciences on December 19.
  • The Path to Homeownership - Are you a first-time homebuyer? If so, consider attending this seminar to learn about today's real estate market, how to use down payment assistance, and special programs designed for you. Also, find out what costs to expect in your first transaction. Offered on December 17 at the UW Tower.

To access event information and registration, go to HomeStreet and click on the "Classes & Prequalification" tab.


Homeownership Counseling
Thinking of buying or refinancing a home but not sure how to get started? Why not schedule a free personal homeownership counseling session with an Affinity Loan Officer who can walk you through the process? These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are both private and informative. Your spouse, partner, or potential co-signer is welcome to attend with you. Appointments are being scheduled for November 25 and December 23 at the UW Tower, and November 27 at Health Sciences. Schedule your appointment today: call 206-628-0207 local, or 888-425-6990 toll-free.

Money Matters  

In a world with so many financial obligations and options, it’s no wonder money management often seems overwhelming. That’s why the UW and our local credit unions have partnered with a financial fitness program called BALANCE. Through this partnership, you have access to free and confidential financial counseling services to help you get out of debt, design a money management plan, and achieve your financial goals. Learn more.


Scams, Shams & Identity Theft
Identity theft is a continual threat that catches people unaware. Come to this seminar to learn how to better protect yourself, your money, and your personal information. A representative from Washington State Employee Credit Union will explain how identity theft happens, offer ways to help prevent it from happening to you, and educate you on ways to protect yourself from scammers. For those affected by fraud or identity theft, WSECU offers advice and support to help you make a full recovery and restoration of your good name. Offered on November 19 at South Lake Union and December 5 at Health Sciences. Access seminar registration.


Social Media & Your Child’s Financial Future
Social media can help or hurt your child’s chances of getting into college, landing a job, and gaining financial independence. Focusing on Facebook, you’ll learn effective strategies for your child and the top 10 social media mistakes to avoid. Presented by School Employees Credit Union. Offered on November 26 at the UW Tower. Access seminar registration.

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 more information.


How Well Does Your Career Fit?
Are your skills and strengths well-suited to your present position and the needs of your department? Is your current job aligned with your long-term career goals? POD’s Susan Templeton can help you answer these crucial questions. Register by 5 p.m. this Friday for Susan’s Assessing Your Career Fit class on November 21. This class uses two assessments (which you’ll need to complete prior to class) to explore work tasks and environments that might be a good fit, ways to make a job more interesting, and methods to enhance work/life balance. Susan also offers one-on-one career counseling to help you evaluate your strengths, plot your career path, or gear up for a job search (fees are charged by the hour). Some participants find it’s a good value to take Assessing Your Career Fit followed by one or two career counseling appointments. Explore your career development options.


Do You Speak Medicine?
Many who don’t practice medicine need to understand its lingo. Develop your basic medical vocabulary skills by exploring root words, prefixes, suffixes, proper pronunciation, and usage in this interactive class. Content includes medical terminology language structure, pharmacy and laboratory terms, and major terms for each organ system, including mental and dental. Quizzes and exercises throughout the class let you practice as you go along. The course fee includes a medical dictionary and substantial course packet. Register for Medical Terminology.


Do Your Microsoft Skills Need an Upgrade?
Learn about time-saving techniques and powerful tools in 90-minute webinars on Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Visio, and Word. These dynamic live webinars include advance distribution of the slides beforehand and a link to a recording afterward, so you can access and review the content at your convenience. Register now for November and December sessions! View webinar schedule.


Resources for Faculty & Staff: Supporting Students in Distress With the shorter days here, November can be a period of transition and adjustment. As a faculty or staff member, you may notice behavioral changes in students as the demands of classes increase. Many resources are available for your use to help students in distress. If you witness any behaviors of concern, contact SafeCampus to receive coaching and guidance on how to work effectively with individuals experiencing difficulty. SafeCampus staff will assess what resources would help most and connect you with resources such UW Health and Wellness, UW Counseling Center, and UW Police.

Remember Husky NightWalk or NightRide gets us around campus safely. Help us maintain safety this season by engaging students and guiding them towards the assistance they may need.


New Stevens Pass Discounts for UW Employees
Heads up, powder-seekers. A brand new program invites UW faculty, staff, and their dependents to ski and snowboard at Stevens Pass at highly discounted rates. The snow is right around the corner so here's what you need to know.

The first of two amazing options is the Corporate Seasons Pass where as a UW employee, you pay the “corporate rate” of $449. This is a savings of $350.The second option is a Corporate PNW Advantage Pass which is the “pay as you go” pass for those that aren’t ready for a full-blown season pass. This is a direct-to-lift pass (no ticket lines) and it requires a credit card for billing.

Find all the discount details here including prices by age group, how to purchase, and where to pick up your pass. Visit UW Discounts for more details or to see other offers.


It's Not Too Late to Join "Ride In The Rain"
Each November, UW bicyclists join in the annual Ride in the Rain Challenge. Participants compete for prizes by tracking the number of bike trips they make between school or work on campus and their home, making special note of when it’s raining. This year, participants from the UW will engage in a friendly competition with Seattle Children’s Hospital. It’s not too late to join as an individual or a team and track your daily progress. Register today!


Take a Break
Broaden your horizons during the month of November by visiting “Scars on Romanian Culture: Dracula and Ceausescu,” an exhibit sponsored by the UW Honors Program and UW Comparative Literature in the lobby of the Allen Library. The exhibit will feature photographic views of Romanian communism and its aftermath twenty years later.

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