The Resource

In This Issue

Open Enrollment
Combined Fund Drive
Preparing for Retirement
Career Development
Home Loan Program
Money Matters

Published: October 9, 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  

Health Plan Changes for 2014
It’s that time of year again—annual Open Enrollment is just around the corner! Check out the approved plan changes for 2014 made by the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) which are now posted on the Faculty and Staff Open Enrollment website.

Overall plan costs will increase an average of 1.8 percent in 2014. This is the lowest cost increase in many years without changes to copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. Employer/employee cost sharing stays at 85/15 percent, including premiums, deductibles, and copays. Also, life and long-term disability insurance rates remain the same.

If you participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or are in a Consumer-Directed Health Plan with a Health Savings Account (CDHP-HSA), be sure to check your 2014 contribution limits. For example, if you enroll in an FSA, you are allowed to contribute between $240 and $2,500 as mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act. On the other hand, if you enroll in a CDHP-HSA, you are allowed to contribute up to $3,300 for individual coverage or up to $6,550 for family coverage.

Changes made during the Open Enrollment period—which runs November 1-30, 2013—will become effective January 1, 2014. So pull out your calculator and worksheets! Now is an excellent time to review your entire benefits package to see if your current medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurances are still the best fit for you and your family.


Benefits Fairs Are Coming!
Save the date to attend a UW Benefits Fair on November 5 at the Husky Union Building, November 6 at Harborview Medical Center, or November 7 at UW Medical Center/Health Sciences Building. This is an excellent time to explore all the benefits available to you and your family and meet the vendors. (Plus, flu shots will be available at the HUB on November 5.) Remember, any changes to your medical and dental plans and/or additions of previously uncovered dependents must be made during the Open Enrollment period, which runs November 1-30. Changes become effective January 1, 2014. View Benefits Fair details.


Stretch Your Dollars with a Flexible Spending Account
Looking for a great way to save valuable tax dollars on health expenses? Consider a Flexible Spending Account, an IRS-approved, tax-free account that can save you money on eligible medical expenses. All benefits-eligible employees who wish to participate in a 2014 FSA—and who are not enrolled in a CDHP-HSA—must enroll during the month of November for benefits to begin January 1, 2014.

If you plan to enroll in a CDHP-HSA in 2014, be sure to check the CDHP-HSA web page which highlights some of the restrictions for high-deductible plans. If you already have an FSA for 2013 and choose a CDHP-HSA for 2014, you will be required to use all funds by the end of this year with no grace period or claims “run-out” period.

Note: Starting next year, Flex-Plan Services will take over as the administrator for 2014 FSAs while ASIFlex, the current FSA administrator, will service any remaining balances for 2013 accounts.

Combined Fund Drive  

UW Combined Fund Drive Campaign Begins!
Next Wednesday kicks off the UW Combined Fund Drive with the Charity Fair & Silent Auction. Have you marked your calendar? Stop by the HUB north ballroom any time between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on October 16 and meet representatives from more than 80 charitable nonprofits. Support the Northwest Burn Foundation by bidding on auction items and filling the coin jar with your spare change. The fair is free and open to faculty, staff, students, and retirees. Enjoy refreshments, play Charity Bingo, and enter to win door prizes including the grand prize: one night’s stay at the Mayflower Park Hotel and four Seahawks tickets. Check out the enticing list of auction items on the event page and see you next week!


Webinar—Getting Your Affairs in Order: Five Essential Documents
Be prepared and organized for your future and that of your family. Learn and explore the five documents that everyone should have in order to be prepared for the unexpected. UW CareLink will present this webinar on October 15 at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.

To register, visit (enter “UW” as the company code) and look for Online Seminars in the lower right-hand corner of the homepage.


UW Carelink Workshop: Managing Frustrating Communications
Frustrating communications often stem from obvious and not-so-obvious differences. The differences may be perceived as barriers and can lead to conflict. Depending on our experiences and skills, the conflict can be functional and beneficial or dysfunctional and destructive. This workshop will review the types of differences that can lead to conflict, explore various conflict and communication styles, and give you tools to use conflict as an opportunity to grow through the stress toward adaptive change.

Open to all staff and faculty, this free workshop will be presented by Althea Brandeis, LMHC, CEAP, on Wednesday, October 30, in the UW Tower Auditorium from 12:00-1:00 p.m. No registration is required. Feel free to bring your lunch.


The Best Laid Plans for Child Care—Plan Ahead Now
It’s October and you’ve survived the back-to-school frenzy! Now you have to be ready for those unplanned bumps in the road—autumn illnesses, teacher work days, etc. Luckily, as an employee of the UW, you have options!

If your child is mildly ill and between one and 12 years old, you can find sick child care through Tender Loving Care (TLC) at Virginia Mason Medical Center. The University underwrites the entire daily fee for UW benefits-eligible employees working .50 FTE or more and academic student employees. Families pay only a one-time registration fee of $5 per child.

In addition, UW Worklife and Bright Horizons offer a specialized back-up care program for those times when your child is well but your normal plans for care fall through. There is a one-stop registration and call center open 24/7 to help you evaluate your needs. Register now so you’ll be ready in the event of an emergency! To register call 877-242-2737 or visit Bright Horizons Back-up Care Advantage (user name “UnivWA” and the password “4Backup”). Once registered, you can 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 the time of drop-off. The cost is $100 per day, paid by the parent of the enrolled child.


Victim Advocate Resources from UW Police!
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Being a victim of crime can be scary and traumatizing. The UW Police Department Victim Advocate is available to all faculty, staff, and students, and provides emotional support, resources, safety planning, and information about protection orders. You do not have to file a police report to access Victim Advocacy services. If you’re concerned about your situation, please contact Natalie Dolci, LICSW, at or 206-543-9337. Find UWPD’s Victim Advocacy resources online.


Get a Flu Shot!
Take advantage of your Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) medical plan and get immunized against seasonal influenza. Drop by one of the campus flu shot clinics listed below. No appointment is necessary. Bring your photo ID, your health insurance card, and a completed claim form so we can bill your plan at no cost to you. View schedule.


Free Hearing Screenings & Discounts on Ear Plugs
Back by popular demand! Get a free hearing screening appointment by calling the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic at 206-543-5440 or email Space is limited.

Also, celebrate National Protect Your Hearing Month by receiving 10% off the listed price on custom ear plugs during the month of October. Consider these if you're a swimmer or musician, listen to headphones regularly, or need extra protection in noisy environments such as sporting events. Use your UW NetID to log into UW Discounts then click the “Wellness” category to view this discount.


Weight Watchers Open Houses
You’re invited to attend a Weight Watchers Open House for free next month. This is an opportunity for you to learn how the Weight Watchers At Work program can benefit your life. Mark your calendar for one of these dates!

November 12
12:15 - 12:45 p.m
Schmitz Hall, Room 490

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

November 15
12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Health Sciences Building, Room T-359

Contact the group leader, if you have questions.


Body Fat Testing at IMA
Wondering about your body composition? You can make a 10-minute appointment with a personal trainer at the Intramural Activities building (IMA) who will determine your lean (muscle) mass and body fat by using calipers. Participants should abstain from exercising directly before being tested and wear a T-shirt and shorts. The testing takes place in the IMA’s Fitness Assessment Room 208 on Thursday, November 14 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and Wednesday, November 20 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required and you’ll find registration information here.


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. Those insured under PEBB will receive free services through the Quit for Life program.

Also, learn more about the Great American Smokeout from the American Cancer Society, one of our wellness partners.


Eating Smarter: The Big Picture
Sometimes it’s not what we eat, but how much we eat that can make a big difference on the scale. Weight Watchers is built for the way you eat and live, surrounding you with the tools and resources to help you figure out how much is too much and how much is just right. Read Eating Smarter to get a few tips about portion control.

Preparing for Retirement  

Retirement Income Series: Preparing to Retire
Join Fidelity Investments for these complimentary retirement planning workshops, where you will get the guidance you need to build a solid income plan, develop strategies to help you generate lifetime income, and help you preserve your retirement savings.

  • Preparing Your Savings for Retirement - At this workshop, you will learn how to evaluate Social Security, determine health care costs in retirement, and plan expenses and strategies to fill the gap. Registration recommended. Attend October 11, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., UW Tower, Auditorium, Room 403.
  • Shifting from Saving to Spending - At this workshop, you will dive into investment strategies, asset allocation in retirement, and portfolio withdrawal rates. Room provided upon registration. Offered on October 18 at the UW Tower.
  • Preserving Your Savings for Future Generations - Learn key estate planning tools, the importance of beneficiary designations, and gifting and insurance replacement strategies. Room provided upon registration. Offered on November 1 at the UW Tower.

Access workshop information and free registration.


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!


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 this free workshop where you will learn how to:

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

This seminar will be offered at Tacoma on October 10, Bothell and UW Tower on November 14, and Health Sciences on November 15.

Access workshop information and free registration. Room provided upon registration.


Multi-Goal Planning Workshops
Join Fidelity Investments for a complimentary multi-goal planning workshop to get the guidance you need on how to actively evaluate your investment portfolio, build a tax-smart investing strategy as you begin to think about saving outside of your workplace savings plan, and prioritize, budget, and save for other nonretirement savings goals.

  • Confident Investing in Any Market - Learn how to evaluate whether you have the right mix of investments, assess factors that impact portfolio performance, and identify different investments to help reduce taxes. Offered on October 9 at South Lake Union and October 15 at Harborview Medical Center.
  • Designing Your Financial Roadmap - Learn how to design a financial roadmap to help you achieve your savings goals, establish a budget and manage debt, and balance and prioritize other nonretirement goals such as college planning. Offered on September 19 at Health Sciences, October 31 at Harborview Medical Center, and November 12 at South Lake Union.

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 this free workshop 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 at the UW Tower on December 3, South Lake Union on December 4, Health Sciences on December 10, and Tacoma on December 12.

Access workshop information and free registration. Room provided upon 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.


Adopt a New Approach
Two POD classes being offered this fall can help you retool your approach and tackle challenges more constructively. Building on Emotional Intelligence: Transforming Communication Through Empathy focuses on using empathy to alter workplace conflict, gain confidence in initiating difficult conversations, and improve relationships at work and at home. Turning Negative Emotions Into Positive Outcomes explores spotting hidden negative signals, banishing negative thinking, and discovering how an optimistic outlook can change your personal and professional life. View POD's autumn courses.


Make the Most of Meetings
Do your colleagues grimace when they see one of your meetings on their calendar? Hone your ability to plan and lead meetings in this half-day class that explores setting effective meeting goals, developing best-practice agendas, encouraging participation, and facilitating difficult group dynamics. Register for Planning and Facilitating Effective Meetings.


Optimize Your Operations
Is the daily grind wearing you down? In this one-day workshop, take an incisive look at poor-performing office processes, discover tools that can help you identify the root causes of problems, and get primed to reduce paperwork, eliminate backlogs, and save time on everyday tasks in your workplace. Register for Process Improvement Tools.


Wake Up to Webinars
POD Webinars offer short sessions that can easily fit into your day, including many that run from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.—perfect for settling down in front of your computer with a fresh cup of coffee after your morning break. This autumn, morning webinars include Adobe Dreamweaver Techniques (Intermediate), Google Analytics, Managing and Organizing Your Inbox in Outlook 2010, Microsoft Access 2010 Techniques (Beginner), Microsoft Excel 2010 Techniques, Microsoft Visio Techniques (Beginner and Intermediate), and Total Organization. Register for POD Webinars.


Capitalize on Your Capabilities
We each have a unique set of strengths and interests we bring to our jobs. Training and Organizational Development Consultant Susan Templeton can help you assess your strengths and your career fit, which in turn may help you discover opportunities for greater growth and success in your current job, as well as new possibilities for your future career. One-on-one sessions are $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). Learn more about career counseling.

Home Loan Program  

Identity Protection & Understanding Credit
Attend one or both of these free lunchtime seminars, presented by HomeStreet, UW partner of the Hometown Home Loan Program:

  • Protecting Your Identity - Learn how to safeguard your personal information, avoid online identity theft, protect your financial credit, restore your identity, and manage the loss of identity when it occurs. Co-presented by HomeStreet and nonprofit American Financial Solutions. Offered at UW Tower on October 22.
  • 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 at South Lake Union on October 31, UW Tower on November 19, Bothell on November 21, and Health Sciences on December 19.

Access event information and registration at the HomeStreet site.


Homeownership Counseling
Thinking of buying or refinancing a home but not sure how to get started? Why not schedule a personal homeownership counseling session with an Affinity Loan Officer who can walk you through the process? These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are free, private, and informative. Your spouse, partner, or potential co-signer is welcome to attend with you. Schedule an appointment today!

Money Matters  

Credit Reporting 101
Worried if your credit is good enough to refinance your home, or get an RV, boat, or new car? Learn how the credit bureaus develop your credit score and come away with valuable tips to help you get the most from your creditworthiness. Get to know what affects your credit, learn why your scores may differ, find out how to get a free report, and learn five easy steps to a better score. Presented by Washington State Employees Credit Union on October 17 at Health Sciences. Access seminar registration.


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 October 24 at Bothell, November 19 at South Lake Union, and December 5 at Health Sciences. Access seminar registration.


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 on October 29 at Harborview Medical Center. Access free event registration and information.


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 and December 11 at Harborview Medical Center. Access seminar registration.


A 64KB System in an 8GB World
Think about what has been made possible by the use of technology in the last 30 years. We can apply for jobs in the blink of an eye over the Internet. We can share documents with many people instantaneously and track edits to those documents. And paychecks can be delivered directly to our bank accounts through direct deposit.

With such technological capabilities, who would choose to go back in time and use a computer that only has 64KB of RAM? It is logical to prefer a current computer with 8GB or more of RAM; the difference is comparing 65,536 bytes to 8 billion bytes—a substantial increase in working memory that impacts the time it takes a computer to process information.

Now consider the University's payroll system. Though technologically advanced when it was implemented in 1982, it no longer meets the HR and payroll needs of a 21st century university. Learn what HR/Payroll Modernization is doing to fix this technology challenge.


Celebrate Purple on W Day & Give Back during Love Purple, Raise Gold
Show your Purple Pride as we celebrate the UW’s birthday on W Day, Friday, October 25! Head to Red Square between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for fun festivities, including:

  • Live music, beginning at 12:15 p.m.
  • Giveaways, including free purple T-shirts and cupcakes from Cupcake Royale (one per person while supplies last)
  • Dollars for Dawgs, where you can grab a hot dog and Coca-Cola product beginning at noon for a suggested donation (to support the Husky Pride Fund
  • The Husky Marching Band and Homecoming activities

Remember to wear purple or UW-licensed apparel on Friday, October 25, to be eligible for W Day deals from participating stores and businesses around Seattle. Details at the W Day site.

Plus, contribute to the Husky legacy during Love Purple, Raise Gold, the 48-hour online W Day giving event. Help reach the goal of 1,152 donors in 48 hours to honor the UW’s 152 years. Whether you give $5 or $152, don’t miss out on this chance to join in and show your love for UW! Participate any time between 1:52 p.m. on October 23 and 1:53 p.m. on W Day. Visit the Love Purple site for details.


Ride in the Rain: Bike for Fun, Adventure, Prizes
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. Join as an individual or a team and track your progress daily with our Ride in the Rain website.

In addition, check out this quarter’s bike class lineup:

  • Planning your Route, October 3
  • Buying a Bike, October 10
  • Fix a Flat Lab, October 17
  • Getting Your Team Together for Ride in the Rain, October 24
  • Gear and Lights for Winter, November 7
  • Rules of the Road: Riding in Traffic, November 14
  • Winter Bike Maintenance, November 21
  • Holiday Gifts for Bicyclists, December 5

Bike classes are brought to you by UW Bikespace and Cascade Bicycle Club. Space is limited, so register today!


October is “Try Transit” Month
Are you transit curious? Want to take the bus but not sure where to start? Love to bike and want to extend your trip by boarding a bus? Maybe you just want to save money on gas. Now is your chance to give public transit a try!

This October, challenge yourself to take the bus or train to a place you would normally drive. Tap your U-PASS for unlimited rides on eight transit services: King County Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, King County Water Taxis, and Seattle Streetcar. Get started today!

Bonus! University of Washington U-PASS members who accept the Try Transit Challenge will also have the chance to win a fun, car-free winter adventure at Whistler, B.C. during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, thanks to our newest U-PASS Merchant Discount Partner, Destination Snow! The grand prize includes the following items for two persons which must be redeemed January 18-20, 2014:

  • 2-day lift passes to Whistler
  • 2-night accommodation at Aava Windsor Hotel
  • Round trip deluxe bus transportation to and from Seattle
  • Movies, prizes, and giveaways on the coach
  • Destination Snow guides
  • Valued at over $1,000

Click here for trip details.


Coming Up: UW Health & Safety Committee Elections
Do you or a co‐worker find workplace health and safety issues of special interest? The University of Washington is getting ready to hold elections for its 11 organizational safety committees. Both committees and elections are required by the Department of Labor and Industries. This biennial election process will get underway later this month. All employees—whether faculty, staff, temporary, hourly, or student employees—are encouraged to participate. You can nominate yourself or a willing colleague to serve a two‐year term, which runs January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2015. Watch for more details to arrive in your inbox or visit the Environmental Health & Safety website.


Take a Break
The Artisan Tile NW group will have handmade tiles on exhibit in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library through October 28, 2013. All the tiles will be for sale with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Library. The Library is located at 3501 NE 41st Street, at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. Find exhibit information online.

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