Defining Eligibility Rules for the Compensation Plan


After completing this lesson, you will be able to Configure eligibility rules.

Eligibility Overview

Organizations use different criteria to define the employees eligible to participate in the compensation cycle. In SAP SuccessFactors, you can simplify the rule creation by choosing the starting point eligibility status of employees.

You can choose between the following:

  • All active employees are eligible (default): It is assumed that all users are eligible unless a rule EXCLUDING them is created.

  • No employees are eligible: It is assumed that all users are NOT eligible unless a rule INCLUDING them is created.

Defining Eligibility Rules

Eligibility rules can be defined at the following three levels:

  • Compensation plan template level

  • Component level

  • Field level

Eligibility Levels

 Starting Point
Eligibility LevelAll Active employees are eligibleNo employees are eligible
Plan LevelRules applied at this level define who will be EXCLUDED from the planning cycleRules applied at this level define who will be INCLUDED in the planning cycle
Component LevelRules applied at this level define who will be EXCLUDED from the Salary or Equity Planning tabsRules applied at this level define who will be INCLUDED in the Salary or Equity Planning tabs
Field LevelRules applied at this level define who will be excluded from MERIT, EXTRA, EXTRA2, LUMPSUM, LUMPSUM2, STOCK, OPTIONS, and so onRules applied at this level define who will be INCLUDED in MERIT, EXTRA, EXTRA2, LUMPSUM, LUMPSUM2, STOCK, OPTIONS, and so on

Although the Basic rule scenario is still available, we recommend that you create rules using the application-specific rule scenarios. Application-specific rule scenarios are preconfigured with common parameters for criteria used when defining rules. (See example below)

Eligibility Rules in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

With Employee Central, you can create robust rules by leveraging different objects in Employee Central. The levels at which the eligibility can be defined remain the same as that of non-Employee Central integrated plan:

  • Plan level – will a user be included/excluded from the whole planning template?
  • Component level – will a user be included/excluded on the planning tab?
  • Field level – will a specific planning field (Merit, Lumpsum, Adjustment) be grayed out for a user?

To configure eligibility rules, navigate to Action SearchConfigure Business Rules.

For example, employees with an hourly pay type are not eligible to participate in the current compensation cycle. In order to filter the affected population, use the IF section of the business rule. Just like the rules in a non-Employee Central integrated plan, the conditions (IF) parameter of the rule works like a filter. Business Rules for Compensation do not need a THEN section; that part is configured in the compensation plan to define at which level the population should be excluded or included, Plan level (Compensation); Component level (Salary tab); Field level (Merit, Lumpsum, and so on).

To create a new rule, consider the following points:

  1. A Compensation rule uses Basic rule scenario.
  2. Enter the Rule ID, which is a unique ID for the rule. You can use CMP as a prefix as the naming convention to make it easier to find.
  3. Choose a Rule Name, which is often the same as Rule ID.
  4. The only Rule Type supported in Compensation is compensationEligibility and varpayEligibility for SAP SuccessFactors Variable Pay. For other solutions, rule types are optional and a way to organize business rules, but for Compensation and Variable Pay, it has a specific function. Any deviation would hinder the rule from showing in the Compensation Eligibility engine screen. Rule type is a picklist, which can be created in the Picklist Center.
  5. Base Object: Compensation eligibility can only be related to jobInfo, compInfo, personalInfo, or employmentInfo as base objects. Rules with any other base objects will not be applied.
  6. Start Date: Date from which the rule should be active. The recommendation is to use 01/01/1900 to ensure all data is considered.
  7. Rule Description: Add a description to easily interpret complex rules.


Any fields in Employee Central calculated "on the fly", such as Compa-Ratio, Range Penetration, and Time in Position cannot be used in eligibility rules because the values are not stored in database.

Defining the THEN Condition

By creating the IF condition using the business rule engine, you've filtered the population (for example, employees belonging to the pay type Hourly) for eligibility. The THEN condition is performed in the Compensation Eligibility engine screen. Select at which level the filtered employees will be excluded or included.

Select Apply to initiate the process; this can take significantly longer to process depending on the complexity of the rules and the number of employees in Employee Central.

Mapping Standard XML Eligibility Keys

Standard XML eligibility keys can be used to determine eligibility and always override the rules set using the Employee Central Rules engine. The object/field to be used for eligibility mapping must be available in Employee Central. As an example, a custom MDF object is created in Employee Central for the purpose of overriding eligibility rules.

<comp-field-definition id="meritEligible" isCustomField="false" isVisible="false" type="string" reloadable="true"><comp-field-label><![CDATA[Merit Eligible]]></comp-field-label>

<comp-ect-input-field-map componentType="employmentInfo" fieldName="cust-AddlCompInfo.cust_MeritEligible"/></comp-field-definition>

This mapping can only be done in XML and is not available in the Design Worksheet.

Managing Eligibility Rules without Employee Central

There are two ways to manage eligibility rules on Compensation worksheets:

  • In the user interface (UI), using the Eligibility engine

  • In the user data file, using eligibility flags

Which method should you use? High exception programs will likely be calculated externally and passed through the user data file. Consistent programs should seek to use the system Eligibility engine.

The Eligibility Rules engine works best when the customer has straightforward eligibility rules without special exceptions. You may want to consider using the user data file to manage eligibility if your customer has complex eligibility rules with many special exceptions. Whichever method you and the customer select, consider handling eligibility exclusively through that method. Sticking to one method is the best way to avoid confusion.

To easily copy eligibility rules from one plan to another, use the import/export functionality. Eligibility rules are exported in CSV file format, which can be edited before importing to a different plan or environment. Please note this only works on non-Employee Central integrated plans.

Are terminated employees ever eligible? This is rarely considered outside the bonus. This is often driven by specific legal requirements.

Remember, when we discuss eligibility when discussing SAP SuccessFactors Compensation, we refer to defining a set of rules that work as filters. The rules will depend on your starting point eligibility.

  • If you started with All active employees are eligible then create rules to EXCLUDE employees.

  • If you started with No employees are eligible then create rules to INCLUDE employees. The system cannot create any worksheet unless the eligibility rules have been defined.

For Employee Central integrated plans, eligibility rule is created using MDF Business rule engine or Configure Business Rule tool.

Using the Eligibility Engine

The Eligibility engine can be accessed in the form template menu under the Plan Setup section. Go to the Plan Details dropdown menu and select Eligibility. The system will remind you which starting point has been chosen in the settings.

To Add a Rule

  1. Access the Eligibility engine.
  2. Click Add Rule.
  3. Create a Rule Name and click Add to select from a list of possible conditions that trigger the rule. You can utilize both standard and custom fields for eligibility conditions. For example, filter employees using Rating.
  4. Identify the desired parameter of the condition, for example, employees with >3 performance rating.
  5. Now select what that population is NOT eligible for.
  6. Only mark what they are not eligible for and leave other items marked as Not Applicable.


    If the starting point is NO employees are eligible, make sure to set ALL items to YES.

  7. Save the rule.
  8. Click Apply.


    After the rule has been created, make sure to click Apply for the rule to take effect. Running eligibility usually takes an hour or less. If the job seems to have been running for an unusually long time, you can use the Clear Eligibility Rule Flag in Provisioning to stop the job and start over. This rarely happens. However, when rules are applied during the same time that system maintenance is being performed, eligibility jobs can get stuck in the process.

You may also edit, clone, or remove specific rules using the respective Take Action dropdown menu options. When compensation plans are cloned, an option to copy eligibility rules from the source template can be used to avoid recreating rules.

Managing Eligibility in the User Data File

Managing eligibility in the user data file eligibility may be preferable when there are a lot of exceptions to employee eligibility. So instead of creating rules, you can directly flag employees in the user data file. This is done by setting the employee's eligibility field to FALSE / TRUE, depending on your eligibility starting point.

Here are the steps for adding eligibility flags to the user data file:

  1. Go to Plan SetupDesign WorksheetEligibility FieldsAdd Eligibility Column.
  2. Select the appropriate standard eligibility columns to be used.
    • The Compensation (compensationEligible) column is used as an overall compensation planning flag. Setting a FALSE flag at this column will exclude user at all levels of planning.
    • The Salary(salaryEligible), Bonus(bonusEligible) and Stock(stockEligible) Tabs are used to define eligibility at the component level.
    • Merit(meritEligible), Lumpsum(lumpsumEligible), Promotion(promoEligible), Units(stockUnitsEligible), Stocks(stockStockEligible), Options(stockOptionEligible), and so on are used to define eligibility at the field level.
  3. Enter the import key corresponding to the user data file eligibility flags. If the user data file eligibility flags haven't been created, the import key entered here will create a new custom column in the user data file.
  4. Export the user data file only if the flags have not been created previously.
  5. Enter TRUE/FALSE in the respective columns. If the starting point is All employees are eligible, users are included by default set eligibility flags to FALSE. To make the individual eligible again, simply remove the FALSE flag.
  6. Import the user data file (if there are in-progress worksheets, select the Update Eligibility option).
  7. Create worksheets to test the eligibility flags.

User data file flags will overwrite eligibility settings made in the Eligibility Rules engine.

Apply Eligibility Rules to Custom Fields

You can define rules for 20 custom fields. This allows for customer specific formulas to be used as a criterion. For example, it is common that customers will base budgets on percentages of custom fields which may take eligibility into consideration. Prior to being able to use custom fields for eligibility, you would have to implement complex workarounds to calculate the budgets.

To mark a custom field as useable for eligibility rules, proceed as follows:

  1. Navigate to Compensation HomeChoose a templatePlan SetupDesign Worksheet.
  2. Click a custom form field on the left.
  3. On right side, under Other Options, select Enable Rules Eligibility and Reportable.

Making a custom field useable for eligibility rules – marking the field as Reportable is also required.

To create an eligibility rule with a custom field, proceed as follows:

  1. Navigate to Compensation HomeChoose a templatePlan SetupPlan DetailsEligibility.
  2. Click Add Rule.
  3. Under Population is eligible for: you will find your custom field(s) to define eligibility.

When creating an eligibility rule, you may use custom fields and formulas as criteria.


Custom fields used for eligibility may be added to Ad Hoc and People Analytics reports. Review the unit, SAP SuccessFactors Compensation: Reports, Statements and Additional Topics for more information on generating reports.

Configure Eligibility Rules

Business Example

You need to create eligibility rules to exclude employees that are paid hourly from compensation planning.


  1. Create an Employee Central Eligibility Rule with Configure Business Rules.

    1. Use Action Search to go to Configure Business Rules.

    2. Select Create New rule.

    3. Select Basic .

    4. Enter CMP_Exercise as the Rule name and ID or any preferred naming convention.

    5. Set the start date as 01/01/1900.

    6. Choose Compensation Eligibility as the Rule Type.

    7. Choose Compensation Information as Base Object.

    8. Set If Condition as Pay type = Hourly.

    9. Save the changes.

    10. Use Action Search, to navigate to Compensation Home.

    11. Open the compensation plan, go to Plan SetupPlan DetailsEligibilityAdd Rule, and then choose the newly created rule from the rule name dropdown list.

    12. Select No for Salary Planning (tab).

    13. Select Save and Apply.

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