University of Washington Policy Directory

Print This Page
*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement
40.4



Insurance Benefits and Retirement Plans

(Approved by the Executive Vice President by authority of Executive Order No. 5)



1.  Overview

The provisions governing eligible employee benefits are contained in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). These statutes and rules describe the programs and policies in greater detail than is possible within the Administrative Policy Statements manual. If there is any conflict between the code and information contained in the Administrative Policy Statements manual, the official statutes or rules prevail.

For complete plan details and current documents concerning the following benefits, contact the Benefits Office by phone: 206–543–2800; email: benefits@u.washington.edu; or campus mail: Box 355660.

The following provides brief synopses of the insurance benefits and retirement plans available to eligible employees of the University.

2.  Public Employees Benefits Board—Basic Insurance Plans

The state of Washington provides medical, dental, life, and disability insurance coverage to all eligible state employees and retirees. The Washington State Legislature sets the benefits funding level. The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) establishes eligibility requirements and approves the benefits plans of all participating health care organizations. The Health Care Authority (HCA) is responsible for purchasing and administering benefits within the amount funded by the Washington State Legislature. The University of Washington Benefits Office administers these plans for all University employees.

  • A Comprehensive Medical Benefits Package Employees may choose either a traditional reimbursement plan or one of several managed health care plans.

  • A Dental Benefit Package—Employees may choose either a traditional reimbursement plan or one of the managed dental care plans.

  • Group Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance—Levels of coverage(s) are determined individually by the employee.

  • Long-Term Disability Insurance Coverage—Levels of disability coverage are determined individually by the employee.

3.  Retirement Plans

a.   Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS)

The Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) is a statewide retirement system established by the Washington State Legislature to provide retirement benefits.

  • Employees and the University contribute to PERS Plan I or Plan II accounts, depending on the date of hire.

  • The PERS Retirement Plan is a defined benefit plan, in which retirement benefits are based on an established formula.

  • A participant may qualify for retirement benefits by reason of age and years of service or condition of health.

b.   Teachers' Retirement System (TRS)

The Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) is a statewide retirement system established by the Washington State Legislature to provide retirement benefits.

  • University employees with existing TRS service credit may continue participation; University employees may not establish TRS eligibility through their University employment.

  • Employees and the University contribute either to Plan I, Plan II, or effective July 1, 1996, Plan III, depending on the date of hire.

  • The TRS Retirement Plan is a defined benefit plan, in which retirement benefits are based on an established formula.

  • A participant may qualify for retirement benefits by reason of age and years of service or condition of health.

c.   Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System (LEOFF)

The Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System (LEOFF) is a statewide retirement system established by the Washington State Legislature to provide retirement benefits.

  • Employees and the University contribute to Plan II.

  • The LEOFF Retirement Plan is a defined benefit plan, in which retirement benefits are based on an established formula.

  • A participant may qualify for retirement benefits by reason of age and years of service or condition of health.

d.   University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP)

The University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP) has been established by the University's Board of Regents to provide retirement benefits to its participants.

  • Participating employees and the University contribute equally to the UWRP.

  • The UWRP is a defined contribution plan, and operates under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

  • A participant may qualify for retirement by reason of age or condition of health.

  • A participant may be eligible for a supplemental retirement payment based upon factors of employment.

e.   Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP)

The Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) is an optional retirement plan.

  • The VIP allows participants to invest additional dollars on a tax-deferred basis towards retirement.

  • The VIP operates under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

f.   Washington State Deferred Compensation (CDC)

The Washington State Deferred Compensation (CDC) is an optional retirement plan.

  • The CDC allows participants to invest additional dollars on a tax-deferred basis towards retirement.

  • The CDC operates under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.

4.  Washington State Dependent Care Assistance Salary Reduction Plan (DCA)

The Washington State Dependent Care Assistance Salary Reduction Plan (DCA) is a means of saving money for dependent and child care needs on a tax-free basis.

  • Employees are subject to a maximum salary reduction of $5,000 per tax year.

  • Dependent Care Assistance Regulations are in Title 154 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and operate under Internal Revenue Code Sections 125 and 129.

5.  Public Employees Benefits Board-Approved Automobile, Homeowners', and Renters' Insurance

The Nationwide Insurance Company is contracted by the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) to offer elected insurance coverage. Insurance coverage is paid through payroll deduction.

March 1996.