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Benefits for UW staff

The University of Washington curates an extensive array of supportive programs that will help you and your family thrive. Eligibility for benefits is based on your employment program, your appointment percentage, the length of your appointment and where you live. Based on the details of your position, you may be eligible for some or all of the following benefits.

Benefits for UW staff

11 health plans*

All plans include prescription drug, vision and mental health coverage.

  • Four preferred provider organization (PPO) plans
  • Four managed care plans
  • Three consumer-directed health plans (CDHP) with health savings accounts

*Only five plans are available to employees who live in southwest Washington and northern Oregon

Learn more about the health plans

Three dental plans

Of the plans available:

  • One preferred provider plan
  • Two managed care plans

Learn more about the dental plans

Four pre-tax spending accounts

These accounts allow you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs and dependent care expenses.

Employee assistance program

There’s an employee assistance program that helps provide mental health counseling for you and your household members.

Disability Service Office

Our Disability Service Office provides resources and accommodations to support your workplace accessibility needs.

Opportunity for annual merit or negotiated salary increases depending on employment program and available funding.

Overtime, premium pay and other opportunities for additional compensation depending on employment program.

Choice between two mandatory retirement plans depending on employment program

  • A defined benefit pension plan (PERS 2)
  • A hybrid retirement plan that combines a traditional pension plan with investment options that work like a typical retirement plan, such as a 401(k) (PERS 3)
  • A defined contribution 403(b) plan with 100% UW match (UWRP)
    • Under age 35: 5% of gross salary
    • Age 35 and over: 7.5% of gross salary
    • Age 50 and over: 10% of gross salary

Additional supplementary retirement plans

  • Save more by enrolling in the optional UW Voluntary Investment Program, a tax-advantaged 403(b) retirement plan that offers an array of mutual funds and annuities.
  • Participate in Washington state’s Deferred Compensation Program, a retirement plan that offers you another opportunity to maximize your retirement savings.

Other resources and benefits

Ongoing access to planning tools and resources—ready when you need them: 1:1 financial coaching, retirement planning seminars and customized total compensation statements updated annually.

Annual attendance program that allows for cash out of unused sick time off.

Learn more about retirement savings options

Paid time away from work

  • 12 to 26 vacation days per year depending on employment program. Your vacation days will grow with your years of service until you max out the range for your employment program.
  • 11 UW holidays
  • One personal holiday
  • One sick time off day per month up to eight hours and no accrual cap
  • Depending on employment program, up to three days of bereavement time off
  • Depending on employment program, paid civil duty time off
  • Transfer of months of service toward a higher vacation time off accrual rate if returning to UW or moving from another Washington state agency

More information on paid time away from work

16 libraries, two art galleries, one museum, one performing arts center and a 230-acre botanic garden open to UW employees

Two wellness programs

There are two wellness programs available to UW staff: one provided to all state employees and one by UW, for UW.

  • Discounts to a network of gyms, fitness studios, trainers and nutritionists
  • Hundreds of drop-in sessions offered in-person and on Zoom to recharge during your workday
  • UW experts offer wellness guidance through newsletters, lunch and learns and seminars
  • Discounts to UW Athletic events, local gyms, fitness studios and more

Check out The Whole U

Learn more about the state-provided program

Five employee affinity groups

Open to all UW employees where you can connect with and build community.

  • Asian and Pacific Islander American Faculty and Staff Association
  • Black Faculty and Staff Association
  • Q Faculty, Staff and Allies Association
  • Latinx Faculty and Staff Association
  • Native Faculty and Staff Association
  • UW Disability Staff and Faculty Association

Work and life supports

  • Hybrid work supports (position specific)
  • Six months of parental leave, regardless of how long you have worked at the UW
  • Ability to supplement benefits when utilizing the WA Paid Family & Medical Leave program
  • Six on-site child care centers
  • Three discounted child care access programs offering in-home and in-center care
  • Active parenting listserv
  • Expert speakers and panels on parenting and caregiving
  • Employee assistance program with seven areas of expertise for comprehensive support for life events and challenges

For more information about work and life supports

Financial wellbeing

  • A fully subsidized transit pass (U-PASS)
  • $35,000 of basic life insurance and $5,000 basic AD&D insurance with option to purchase additional insurance
  • Employee-paid and employer-paid long term disability coverage
  • Home loan discounts, down payment assistance and home buyer education
  • Over 300 employee discounts
  • Access to the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Career growth

  • Professional and personal development training opportunities
  • Tuition exemption program available through 23 public Washington universities and community colleges
  • Access to UW Libraries
  • Communities of practice in a variety of fields for skill building and mentorship