The Resource

In This Issue

The Whole U
Holiday Tips
Your Benefits
Career Development
Combined Fund Drive
Money Matters
Home Loan Program
Retirement Planning
Holiday Wellness

Published: December 11, 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.

The Whole U  

Coming this January: The Whole U
The Whole U, a new initiative for faculty and staff, launches this January. You will find new programming and events that support healthy lifestyles, personal growth, and engagement with all the great resources found within the UW community. You will also find a network of fitness studios and gyms offering special pricing for UW employees and their household members, links to cultural events and activities for the whole family, and an ever-growing list of discounts at local and national merchants.

Can’t wait until January? Be one of the first 500 people to follow The Whole U on Facebook or Twitter to get insider details as this program goes live and be entered to win a Fitbit Flex.


Guinness World Record Kettlebell Workout
The Whole U’s launch event is not only big, it is a record-breaking, history-making way to spend your lunchtime on Friday, January 24. From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Dempsey Indoor Center, please join 1,000 of your UW colleagues in a workout like no other! President Michael Young will kickoff this special event.

The class will be introductory, but the results will be legendary. The first 1,000 faculty and staff to register will receive:

  • Free kettlebell to keep—useful for future Whole U events!
  • Free Dri-FIT t-shirt donated by Nike to commemorate breaking the record
  • Free Whole U tote bag
  • Free snacks for recharging as you triumphantly leave the field
  • Optional tour of Husky Stadium and the UW Medicine Sports Medicine Center at Husky Stadium

Special thanks to UW Medicine and UW Athletics for sponsoring this Whole U event.

Holiday Tips  

Managing Holiday Stress
Life can be stressful, especially around the holidays. Whether you need to talk to someone, take a stress-relief break at lunch, or seek long-term help, use these convenient counseling resources to manage your stress for a healthier you.


Opportunities to Increase Your Physical, Financial, and Emotional Health in 2014!
As 2013 comes to a close, now is the perfect time to pause and reflect in preparation for the new year! This month, UW CareLink has some helpful tips on setting health goals for 2014.

Part of focusing on goals is recognizing when you need extra support. UW CareLink offers benefits-eligible faculty and staff, their household members, and their dependent children who reside anywhere in the U.S. a free 30-minute telephone consultation with a state-licensed professional. In addition, faculty and staff can take advantage of a free 30-minute telephone or in-person consultation with an attorney, with a 25% reduction in fees if that network attorney is retained. This invaluable service can help you get your estate planning, credit, and other financial matters in order so you can enjoy the holidays worry-free. To get started, call 866-598-3978.


Webinar: The Path to Inner Peace
Getting off the fast track and getting in touch with what is important in your life is one pathway to inner peace. Explore the benefits of reaching inner peace and harmony through greater understanding of self, as well as the personal and work environments in which you live.

“The Path to Inner Peace,” a one-hour webinar, will be presented on December 17, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Early registration is recommended. Space availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, visit (enter UW as company code) and look for “Online Seminars” in the lower right hand corner of the homepage.


Back Up Plans for Child Care?
At this time of year, your regular child care plans often take a break from the norm. Remember that the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage Program© is available when your regular caregiver is unavailable. Bright Horizons has a one-stop registration and call center open 24/7 designed to help you evaluate your needs. Register now by calling 877-242-2737 or visit (user name “UnivWA” and password “4Backup”). Once registered, you can log into your personal account to request care up to one month in advance of the date it’s needed, find child care locations near your home, check invoices, find details on providers, and more. Be prepared to show your current UW Husky card at time of drop-off. The cost is $100 per day, paid by the parent of the enrolled child.


Holiday Safety Tips for You, Your Kids & Your Home
While you are out and about shopping for holiday gifts, keep in mind these tips from UW Police.

Carry only enough cash or credit cards that you plan to use. Stash your shopping bags in the trunk of your car, out of sight, and lock the trunk release in the cabin of your car if you have this feature.

Shopping with kids? Keep them safe by teaching them to locate a store clerk or security guard to help them if they get lost. Tell kids to use their intuition about whom it’s safe to ask for help. A safe person is not always the one who will approach a lost child; a child may be better off if s/he is willing to be the one to approach a safe-looking adult (rather than waiting for an adult, who may or may not be safe, to approach the child).

Leaving town? Let friends or relatives know your route and stock a winter survival kit in your car to include food, water, first aid supplies, jumper cables, flares, extra clothing, and blanket. Your home should look like someone is there. Don’t let mail or newspapers pile up; arrange to stop delivery, or have your neighbor collect them for you. Neighbors can also help by shoveling snow off your walkway while you are gone.


Winter Weather is Here
With winter weather arriving, 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.
Your Benefits  

Annual PERS 3 Transfer Window Opens January 1
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 an annual option to transfer to PERS 3 between January 1 and January 31, 2014. To be eligible for the transfer, you must earn service credit in January 2014. This one-time transfer is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change plans at a later date. See Transferring from PERS2 to PERS3.


Contribution Limits for 2014
Several UW benefits plans are subject to limits imposed by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Exceeding these limits could result in penalties and fees, so be aware of them. For 2014, the contribution limits will be:

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) - Annual deduction amount must fall between $240 and $2,500. Learn more about FSA.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) - For those enrolled in a PEBB high-deductible health plan with an HSA, the combined employer/employee contribution limits will be: $3,300 for individual coverage; $6,450 for family coverage; and an additional allowable $1,000 for a “catch-up” contribution, if you are 55 or above. This represents an increase from 2013 of $50 for individual coverage and $100 for family coverage. The catch-up contribution limit remains the same. Learn more about HSA.
  • UWRP & VIP Retirement Plans - The maximum combined employee/employer contribution limit allowed under IRC for 403(b) plans such as the UWRP and VIP is $52,000 (up $1,000 from 2013). For the VIP only, an additional $5,500 is allowed for each year, if you are 50 or above. Learn more about the limits.
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.


Ready to Register for Winter Classes?
Registration is open for dozens of Winter 2014 training classes! New offerings include the one-day workshop Writing Policies and Procedures and the POD Webinar Google Docs & Drive. Make plans now so you don't miss out on classes typically offered just once a year, including Customer Service Excellence, Introduction to Research Administration, Managing Corrective Action the UW Way, Master Process Planning, Recharge Center Seminar, Strategic Planning Tools, and Working Across Generations. Check out POD’s winter classes.


Have You Taken a POD Webinar Yet?
Ring in the new year with live webinars designed to improve your productivity, computer skills, and organizational ability. January offerings include Accomplishing More With Less, Advanced Excel PivotTables, Managing and Organizing Your Inbox in Outlook 2010, and Microsoft Excel 2010 Techniques. The registration cutoff is one week before each webinar’s start date, so register now to be prepared when the new year is upon us. View webinar schedule.


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—and evaluate your strengths, plot your career path, or gear up for a job search—through one-on-one career counseling. The fee is $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). Explore your career development options.

Combined Fund Drive  

Celebrate the Season of Giving with the Holiday Food Drive!
The holiday season is upon us and the UW community is supporting the University District Food Bank with a campus-wide food drive! The food you donate is critical to providing over 5,700 low-income families with healthy supplemental groceries.

Help local families by sponsoring a barrel in your office. How? Contact the food bank at 206-523-7060 or to have a large (4’ tall) or small (1.5’ tall) donation barrel delivered to your office, lab, or common space.

Then hang up this donation flyer above your barrel to spread awareness. The food bank will also pick up your donation barrel by December 20, or whenever your barrel is full!

You may also donate to the U-District Food Bank through the UW Combined Fund Drive, our workplace giving campaign, by choosing ongoing payroll deduction or a one-time gift.

Money Matters  

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, this seminar will be held on December 13 at Harborview Medical Center. To register, email by December 12. Space is limited.


Credit Reporting 101
Wondering whether your credit is good enough to refinance a home or get an RV, boat, or new car? In this seminar, you'll learn how credit bureaus develop credit scores and come away with valuable tips to help you get the most from your creditworthiness. Find out what impacts your credit, why your scores may differ, how to get a free report, and the five easy steps to a better score. This seminar will be held on January 7 at Tacoma, January 9 at the UW Tower, and February 11 at Harborview Medical Center. Presented by Washington State Employees Credit Union. Access free event registration and information.


Financial Yoga: Stretching Your Hard-Earned Dollars
Stretching a paycheck is more important than ever. Learn tips that will help you gain control of your finances and reduce financial stress. Presented by School Employees Credit Union, this seminar will be held on January 15 at Bothell, January 29 at South Lake Union, and February 20 at Health Sciences. Access free event registration and information.

Home Loan Program  

Ready to Buy a Home?
HomeStreet offers free lunchtime seminars to help you learn about a variety of homeownership issues related to budgeting, buying, remodeling, refinancing, and selling your home.

  • The Homebuying Process—Learn how to buy a home, starting with pre-qualification to mortgage applications, home inspections, and appraisals. Offered on January 14 at UW Tower, Seattle and January 23 at South Lake Union.
  • The Path to Homeownership—First-time homebuyers, consider attending this seminar to learn about today’s real estate market, how to use down payment assistance, and special programs designed for you. Find out what costs to expect in your first transaction. Offered on December 17 at UW Tower, Seattle.
  • Understanding Credit—Do you know why credit history is important when getting ready to refinance your home? Learn how to clean up your credit history and fix reporting errors. Offered on December 19 at Health Sciences and January 16 at Tacoma.

Register at or call 206-628-0207. Be sure to include the title, date, and location of the seminar. Also include your contact phone number in the event of class cancellation. The exact seminar location will be specified upon registration confirmation. View full schedule.


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. Schedule your appointment today: call 206-628-0207 local, or 888-425-6990 toll-free.

Retirement Planning  

Meet a Planning and Guidance Consultant
Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, you can schedule 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. Take advantage of this opportunity 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!

Holiday Wellness  

Defeating the Office Calorie Trap During the Holidays
Weight Watchers has a plan to help you take charge of your "spaces" and defeat office calorie traps. Arm yourself with these tools to stay on track and avoid the food pitfalls associated with office treats, dining out, and vending machine snacks. Read this tip sheet.

Weight Watchers welcomes you to join a campus group—Schmitz Hall, UW Tower, and Health Sciences—at any time! View schedule here.


Campus MammoVan—Mobile Mammography Service
Women, we know it's not always easy for you to find time to get a routine mammogram to screen for breast cancer but thanks to the UW’s partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), there's a faster and more convenient way to get screened: the MammoVan. This state-of-the-art mobile mammography service is scheduled to come to the south side of the UW Tower at 12th Avenue NE & NE 43rd Street on January 29. To make an appointment, call 206-288-7800.

Remember, women 40+ who are enrolled by a PEBB health plan are allowed one “free” mammogram screening per calendar year when seeing an in-network provider such as SCCA. Because it's preventive, it’s covered at 100% and not subject to the medical deductible, and you pay nothing!

Note: Uniform Medical Plan now covers preventive screening mammograms for women under age 40 who have risk factors which increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Learn more about this coverage.


HR/Payroll Modernization: Updating Our Processes & Underlying Technology
HR/Payroll Modernization is a major initiative to replace the University's 31-year-old legacy payroll system with a modern, integrated human resources and payroll system. It also will provide a set of standardized processes to significantly improve support for critical HR and payroll work across the University. View a brief video from Provost Ana Mari Cauce, which sheds insight on the project.

For additional information, including a timeline and ways to be involved, visit the HR/P page.


Urban Cycling Skills
Join this lively workshop to learn not only the basics of how to ride in the city, but also how you can build your confidence and skills to ride through Seattle. A Cascade Bicycle Club cycling instructor will present and lead the discussion. Open to all UW students and employees. Bring your questions! UW Bike classes are brought to you by U-PASS & Cascade Bicycle Club.

January 16, 2014
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
HUB 337

Log in to register for this free class.


Take a Break: The White Rose
An exhibition chronicling the White Rose resistance group in Nazi Germany is on display at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library, second and third floors, through January 27.

Formed in 1942 by University of Munich students, The White Rose was a small, non-violent Nazi resistance group that spearheaded a nine-month anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign calling for active opposition to Adolf Hitler’s regime. Seven members of the group were executed in 1943 and many others were imprisoned.

For more information, visit

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