/551 IN SAP HR


/551 IN SAP HR

Understanding /551 in SAP HR: Retroactive Payroll Calculations

In SAP’s Human Resources (HR) module, the wage type /551 is crucial in managing retroactive payroll calculations. Retroactive changes refer to employee compensation adjustments or deductions that affect previous payroll periods. This might happen due to reasons like:

  • Changes in salary rates
  • Corrections of errors in past payroll runs
  • Backdated benefits or deductions

What is /551?

The wage type /551, known as the “Recalculation Difference,” is a system-generated value that stores the difference between the original net pay of a previous payroll period (/560) and the newly calculated net pay resulting from a retroactive adjustment.

How /551 Works

  1. Retroactive Change: When a retroactive change triggers a payroll recalculation for a past period, the SAP system compares the original payroll results with the newly calculated results.
  2. Difference Calculation: If a difference exists, the system creates the /551 wage type to store this difference. The sign of /551 is essential:
    • Positive /551: Indicates an increase in earnings retroactively (employee owes money to the company)
    • Negative /551: Indicates a decrease in earnings retroactively (company owes money to the employee)
  3. Subsequent Adjustment: The amount stored in /551 is typically transferred from the current payroll period to the original as a subsequent adjustment using the wage type /552. This ensures that the retroactive difference is reflected in the correct accounting and historical accuracy of the payroll period.


Let’s say an employee’s hourly rate was incorrectly entered in January. This error is corrected in February, requiring a retroactive adjustment for January’s pay:

  • Original Net Pay in January ( /560): $2000
  • Correct Net Pay in January after Retro: $2200
  • Difference ( /551): -$200 (The negative sign indicates the company owes the employee)

In this scenario, the $200 difference will be added to the employee’s February payroll as a /552 wage type, ensuring the employee receives the correct retroactive pay.

Key Points to Remember

  • /551 is a system-generated wage type, not manually entered.
  • /551 is specifically for retroactive payroll adjustments.
  • The sign of /551 helps determine who owes whom.
  • /551 is often used in conjunction with /552 for subsequent period adjustments

Additional Considerations

Understanding the technical configuration rules (known as the “schema”) that govern the generation and behavior of /551 is essential for HR and payroll specialists. Proper configuration ensures accurate and compliant payroll processing in the SAP system.

You can find more information about  SAP  HR in this  SAP HR Link



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