Welcome to the University of Washington! As an academic employee of a world class University, you receive a benefits package that provides excellent insurance coverage and retirement plan options. The decisions you make at the time of benefits enrollment will affect your insurance coverage and retirement plan participation. It is therefore important that you understand your enrollment options.
This orientation is for newly-employed and newly benefits-eligible faculty, librarians and academic employees. Your benefits eligibility and retirement plan options depend on the type of appointment you hold. If you do not know your appointment type, talk to your department's administrator or payroll coordinator.
Employees working at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma are required to attend an in-person orientation that includes a benefits component. Your department will tell you which session to attend and where it is located.
The Benefits Office conducts optional in-person orientations for those employees who are not required to attend an in-person orientation. Our office encourages all new benefits-eligible employees to attend an in-person orientation. Attending an in-person benefits orientation provides you with a benefits packet that includes all of the documents you will need to enroll. Also, UW Benefits staff member will be present to guide you through the enrollment process and answer your questions.
This online benefits orientation is not required. It is for employees who cannot or choose not to attend an in-person benefits orientation. It can also be a useful reference for employees who expect to attend an in-person orientation, yet want to review their benefits enrollment information and options online in advance.
The orientation proceeds sequentially. The information you learn on one page may be necessary for the decisions you will make at a later step. The navigation allows you to select individual pages you wish to view, however we recommend that you proceed through the orientation from beginning to end so that you do not miss important information.
From your “benefits eligibility date” (normally the date you are placed on the UW payroll), you have certain “enrollment windows” within which you must complete and return benefits enrollment forms. The “benefits eligibility date” relates to your enrollment deadlines. It is not necessarily the effective date that a specific benefit actually begins. Look for the benefit effective dates as you review each module of the orientation.
Regardless of the actual deadlines, below, we recommend that you return ALL forms within 31 days from your benefits eligibility date.