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Benefits

Whitworth University offers a range of health, insurance and other programs designed to support the diverse needs of our faculty and staff. Whether saving for retirement, taking a class, using the recreation facilities or attending chapel service, you will find a benefit to address many aspects of your life and well-being.  

Education

Tuition Remission

Whitworth is a place where lifelong learning is valued. If you are a benefits eligible employee, you, your spouse and your eligible dependents can take classes at a discount of up to 100 percent based upon your years of service. See the applicable policy for full details.

Tuition Exchange

Whitworth participates in tuition exchange programs with Coalition for Christian College and Universities and Tuition Exchange Inc. Benefits eligible employees who are full-time and have attained 100 percent tuition remission may submit applications for their eligible dependents. Refer to the summary below for full details.

Library

Sharing the university’s mission to provide its diverse student body an education of the mind and heart, the Whitworth Library serves students, faculty and staff with information resources and related services that support learning, teaching and scholarship, as well as intellectual, professional and spiritual development.

Your employee I.D. opens the door to a host of resources. 

  • Traditional library services like primary research in Whitworth archives, copyright assistance, interlibrary loan and the free bookshelf and local newspaper collection located in the reading room.
  • Online access to local and national newspapers including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times and Spokesman-Review at libguides.whitworth.edu/newspapers.
  • Stream videos including documentaries (such as Ken Burns PBS specials and BBC mini-series), skill lessons, yoga and meditation guides. Want to relax? Stream the library’s classical and jazz music collections. Audiobooks of popular fiction, as well as historical literature, juvenile and young adult titles, and nonfiction at libguides.whitworth.edu/streaming.

Financial Future

Emeriti Retirement Health

The Emeriti Retirement Health (ERH) program helps employees with healthcare expenses in retirement. Benefits eligible employees who have attained age 35+ may participate in the program. You must work for Whitworth for at least five years before being vested in the ERH. Note: Lecturers are inelgible to participate.

The ERH has three separate components. 

  1. A tax advantaged retiree healthcare savings account. Money is set aside now, in a VEBA account, to help pay for healthcare costs in retirement. Funded with tax-free employer contributions and if you choose, after-tax employee contributions.
  2. A tax-free reimbursement benefit. When you retire, money in your VEBA account may be used for qualified health care expenses, such as health incursnae premiums, co-payments, deductibles, prescription drugs and many other IRS approved items.  
  3. Access to group health retiree health plan. You will also be eligible to enroll in a group health insurance plan administered by Aetna if you meet these criteria (a) be enrolled in Medicare (b) had attained age 59 1/2 while employed at Whitworth and (c) had five years of continous service. 

Retirement Plan

Whitworth’s retirement plan, a 403(b) administered by Principal Financial Group, gives you a convenient and generously subsidized way to save for a more comfortable retirement through payroll deductions.

  1. Participation in the retirement plan is mandatory for all eligible employees. Your participation in the retirement plan starts on the first day of the month following your first day on the job.
  2. You must contribute at least 5 percent of your wages to the retirement plan. If you would like to save more, you may increase your percentage and contribute up to the maximum amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
  3. Whitworth contributes 8 percent of your wages each month to the retirement plan.
  4. You are always 100 percent vested in the current of your contributions, Whitworth’s contributions and all investment earnings. You may choose how to invest your funds within an approved list of investments.

Principal offers a host of educational resources such as articles, retirement calculators and webinars on its website. Additionally, each quarter a Retirement Education Specialist visits the Whitworth campus for face-to-face meetings with plan participants.

Health

Dental

Whitworth offers one dental plan at no monthly premium cost to the employee with the option of adding eligible dependents for an additional cost. Under the Delta Dental Plan you are free to choose from a large network of providers in the Spokane area.

Medical/Prescription/Vision

Whitworth offers a choice of two medical plans through Kaiser Permanente: the CORE HMO and the ACCESS PPO. Although both plans have the same deductible and out-of pockets maximum, they differ in two important ways: 1) how you access care and 2) network size including out of network options. Which plan is best for you depends upon your health care needs and how important it may be for you to see any health care provider you choose.

Whitworth provides a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) if you are enrolled in a medical plan. See the Reimbursement Accounts section of the website for further details. 

Insurance

Life Insurance/Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

Basic Coverage

The basic life plan provides a benefit of 1.5 times your annual earnings with a minimum benefit of $50,000 and a maximum benefit of $200,000. The benefit is reduced once you reach age 70.

The basic AD&D pays an additional benefit, equal to your basic life insurance amount (up to 2 times your annual earnings), if you die as a result of a covered accident. Benefits are also payable if you suffer certain severe injuries in an accident, including loss of limb, loss of sight or paralysis.

As a benefits eligible employee, you will receive a basic life insurance and basic AD&D insurance plan. Whitworth pays the full cost of these plans, which are insured by Prudential.

Optional Coverage

You may purchase optional life insurance along with AD&D up to a maximum benefit of five times your annual earnings or $500,000 – whichever is less. You will pay the full cost of this coverage through after-tax payroll deductions. Note: You may be required to go through underwriting. Contact HR for more details.

Coverage for Your Family

In addition to buying extra life insurance coverage for yourself, you may purchase life insurance for your spouse and/or dependent children.

You may only purchase coverage for your family members if you purchase coverage for yourself under the optional life insurance plan. You will pay the full cost of your family members’ coverage through after-tax payroll deductions.

A single premium is charged for child coverage regardless of how many children you have.

Long-Term Disability

The LTD plan provides monthly income protection if you become unable to work due to a disabling condition that lasts beyond 90 days. Whitworth pays the cost of your LTD coverage, which is provided through Prudential.

Benefit Amount

60 percent monthly earnings (may be reduced if you receive other disability income)

Max Benefit

$7,500 per month

Waiting Period

Benefits begin after 90 days of continuous disability

Benefits are paid until your Social Security Retirement Age or until you are no longer disabled; benefits for disabilities related to substance abuse or mental health diseases may be limited.

Perks

Interest Free Loans

After you have worked for Whitworth in a benefits eligible position (lecturers are ineligible) for a full year, you may borrow up to $2,000 interest free to purchase a cell phone, computer, tablet, bike or regalia. You will repay the loan through payroll deductions (up to 36 months). Note, should your employment end before you have repaid the full amount of your loan, the balance will become due immediately.

Wills/Legal Documents

If you’ve been putting off creating a will, you are not alone. The majority of Americans do not have a will in place. But as a benefits eligible employee at Whitworth, you have access to an online legal document preparation resource including standard will, healthcare power of attorney, HIPAA authorization, living will and more. Educational resources including what to do to make the documents legally binding in your state are included. Login to get started using the links below.    

Reimbursement Accounts

Flexible Spending Account

If you have predictable healthcare or dependent care expenses for the year, the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) may be a good way for you to pay for these expenses using tax-free dollars.

You can choose each plan year to defer some of your pay into one or both FSAs before federal, Social Security (FICA), Medicare or other taxes are withheld. By reducing your taxable pay, you end up paying less tax. Then, as you incur eligible expenses and have to pay for some or all expenses out of pocket, you can reimburse yourself for your share of the expense. The money goes into your account untaxed, and remains untaxed after you receive it.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement

Each plan year (beginning June 1), Whitworth contributes half of the annual deductible into an HRA. If you are a new employee, you will receive your contribution the first of the month following your date of hire.

You and any family members covered under the university medical plan can use the HRA funds to cover your out of pocket medical expenses like co-pays, prescription drugs, deductibles and co-insurances, as well as dental and vision expenses. 

To get reimbursed, you must submit an Explanation of Benefits and/or itemized invoice/receipt to National Benefits Services.

Recreation

Athletics Pass

Show your Whitworth spirit and come cheer on the Pirates. Free season passes for athletic events are available to you and your family. Passes may be requested from the athletic department program coordinator.

Megan E. Thompson Aquatic Center

Whitworth’s newly remodeled aquatic center is one of the best facilities of its kind in Spokane. You and your family are welcome to swim laps, participate in water aerobics, take swim lessons or play water games. Aquatic center staff members are prepared to help with stroke improvement and fitness programs. 

University Recreation Center

The Whitworth University Recreation Center (U-Rec) provides an on-campus facility where the Whitworth community can pursue physical fitness and wellness. The facility includes circuit training, cardiovascular stations, powerlifting stations, an indoor track, a climbing wall, a bouldering area and a three-court gymnasium equipped for volleyball, badminton, pickleball and basketball. Dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, benches and a variety of other sporting equipment are also available to complete your workout.

You, your spouse and eligible dependents may receive a membership to the U-Rec free of charge. You can also rent outdoor gear such as backpacks, mountain bikes, snowboards and tents at a discount. Visit the website for details.

Spiritual Enrichment

We invite you to participate in these activities throughout the week. Our hope is to enable faculty and staff to fully experience faith and community while working at Whitworth.

Community Worship

This twice-weekly worship service allows the Whitworth community to gather together in an expression of our commitment to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity. Each worship service is led by the campus ministry staff and student leaders as we draw upon all that has been given to us: the Bible, the two millennia of church tradition, the best of contemporary music, the spirituality of written prayers, the sharing of communion together, the power of liturgical symbols and dance, the joy of global music, and the witness of the worldwide Christian community.

Morning Prayer

A service of morning prayer invites us to join Christians around the world as we lift up our hearts to the Lord Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of Fall Term from 8:30 a.m.-8:50 a.m. in the Lantern, an upstairs room in the music building, for all faculty, staff and students. Morning Prayer is an opportunity to start the day with scripture, silence, prayer and song. Director of Campus Worship Ben Brody will be leading the simple service based on the Book of Common Prayer. All are welcome to join this service of worship.

On Bended Knee

On Bended Knee is an online prayer guide for the Whitworth University community, written by Storm Family Dean of Spiritual Life and Campus Pastor Forrest Buckner. It features weekly posts with scripture passages, timely prayer requests for Whitworth people and programs, and thanksgiving for God’s rich blessings on the university. Each week’s posting also includes the scripture passage which will be the focal point for our Tuesday campus chapel service.