A QDRO is a court order generally issued in connection with a separation, divorce or child custody proceeding whereby a portion of the 401(k) Savings Plan and/or Pension Plan could be transferred or assigned to someone other than the FirstEnergy employee.

Federal law requires that a QDRO be put into place by a court and approved by the retirement plan administrator in order for a retirement benefit to be divided between former spouses.  This means that a divorce decree issued by a state court may not be enough, even if the divorce decree states that the retirement benefit should be divided.

NOTE:  Once FirstEnergy receives notice that a divorce action is pending, it may impact the 401(k) Savings Plan and/or Pension Plan benefits. No benefit payments are permitted to be paid from either plan until FirstEnergy receives formal notice that the benefits are not impacted by the pending action.  Therefore, payments from the Pension Plan generally are not allowed to begin until either a certified QDRO has been approved or the divorce decree indicates that the ex-spouse is not eligible for any of the Pension Plan benefits.  In addition, a hold will be placed on the 401(k) Savings Plan to prevent loans and/or withdrawals until a similar notice is received. A $300 QDRO processing fee will be charged on a pro-rated basis between the Participant’s and Alternate Payee’s 401(k) Savings Plan account balance.

Below are the QDRO procedures for each retirement plan:

Below is the Model Language that can be used to prepare a QDRO for each retirement plan:

All QDROs are reviewed and approved/denied by:

QDRO Consultants Co.
Attn: FirstEnergy QDRO Compliance Team
3071 Pearl Road
Medina, OH 44256


For more information on laws regarding the division of retirement benefits, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website for a comprehensive, accessible resource – QDROS: The Division of Retirement Benefits Through Qualified Domestic Relations Orders.

For more information regarding QDROs, contact QDRO Consultants or pension@firstenergycorp.com.