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Pro rata

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pro rata is an adverb or adjective meaning in equal portions or in proportion.[1] The term is used in many legal and economic contexts. The hyphenated spelling pro-rata for the adjective form is common, as recommended for adjectives by some English-language style guides. In American English, this term has been vernacularized to prorated or pro-rated.


More specifically, pro rata means:

Pro rata has a Latin etymology, from pro, according to, for, or by, and rata, feminine ablative of calculated (rate or change).[5]


When liability for a toxic tort or a defective product concerns many manufacturers, the liability under tort law is allocated pro rata.[6] Examples in law and economics include the following, noted below:

Partnership liability[edit]

Each of several partners "is liable for [her or his] own share or proportion only, they are said to be bound pro rata. An example ... may be found in the liability of partners; each is liable ... only pro rata in relation to between themselves."[7]

Bankruptcy law[edit]

When a debtor files for bankruptcy, and "the debtor is insolvent, creditors generally agree to accept a pro rata share of what is owed to them. If the debtor has any remaining funds, the money is divided proportionately among the creditors, according to the amount of the individual debts."[8] "A creditor of an insolvent estate is to be paid pro rata with creditors of the same class."[9]

Worker's pay and benefits[edit]

A worker's part-time work, overtime pay, and vacation time are typically calculated on a pro rata basis.[10][11]

Under US Federal regulations, a government worker has the right such that: "When an employee's service is interrupted by a non-leave earning period, leave is earned on a pro rata basis for each fractional pay period that occurs within the continuity of employment."[12]

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a US labor union, argues that all part-time or adjunct instructors should get pro-rata pay for teaching college courses.[13] This is an important issue, as of 2010, for part-time faculty.[14]

Irish secondary school teachers are entitled to pro rata pay for part-time work.[15]

Under British employment law, "Regulations state that, where appropriate, the pro rata principle should be applied to any comparison ... to be given ... holiday."[16]

Likewise, in Tasmania, Australia, the law clearly grants workers the privilege of part-time benefits for leave of absence.[17][18] This is granted under the Long Service Leave Act 1976.[19]

Investment laws[edit]

In corporate practice, "a pro-rata dividend means that every shareholder gets an equal proportion for each share he or she owns."[20]

In banking, "Pro-rating also refers to the practice of applying interest rates to different time frames. If the interest rate was 12% per annum, you could pro-rate this number to be 1% a month (12%/12 months)."[20]

Venture capital[edit]

In venture capital, it can refer to the Pro-Rata Participation right and mean "the right to continue to participate in future rounds so that you can maintain your ownership."[21]


In insurance, pro rata is used to determine risk based on the time the insurance policy is in effect.[22] It may also be used to describe proportional liability when more than one person is responsible for a loss or accident.[citation needed]

Insurance cancellation method[edit]

Calculation of return premium of a cancelled insurance policy is often done using a cancellation method called pro rata. First, a return premium factor is calculated by taking the number of days remaining in the policy period divided by the number of total days of the policy. This factor is then multiplied by the policy premium to arrive at the return premium. Traditionally, this has been done manually using a paper wheel calculator. Today, it is normally done using an online wheel calculator.[23]

College tuition[edit]

When a college student withdraws, colleges may refund tuition payments on a pro rata basis.


In the United States, a private pilot may pay no less than the pro rata share of the total price of the flight when carrying passengers.[24]


Pro-Ration (pro rata) means if the battery fails anytime within the first two years of service, it is replaced for free. After those first two years, a pro-rated fee is assessed for the replacement. However, the pro-ration (pro rata) is typically calculated from the date the battery was sold.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Farlex's The Free Dictionary Article is available to subscribers only.
  2. ^ "What is Pro Rata? definition and meaning". InvestorWords.com.
  3. ^ Ehrlich, Eugene (1987) [1985]. Amo, Amas, Amat and More. New York: Harper Row. p. 233. ISBN 0-06-272017-1.
  4. ^ Investigator web site. Accessed May 29, 2008.
  5. ^ The Free Dictionary. Accessed May 29, 2008.
  6. ^ "Manufacturer 2007 Pro Rata Share Responsibility(sic) for Orphan Waste for Maine Household Televisions Computer Monitor Recycling Program" (PDF). Maine.gov. Maine Department of Environmental Protection. November 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  7. ^ ClickDocs UK Legal web site (quote marks changed to italics for clarity).
  8. ^ "Pro Rata | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2023-07-30.
  9. ^ "WWLIA legal web site". Archived from the original on 2007-10-06.
  10. ^ John Steven Niznik, Pro Rata, at Job Search Tech web site.
  11. ^ "TheSite.org web page about pro-rata payment for part-time work". Archived from the original on 2007-06-19.
  12. ^ US Department of Commerce Office of Human Resources Management official web site, citing 5 CFR 630.204.
  13. ^ "AFT web site". Archived from the original on 2007-06-13.
  14. ^ California Part-time Faculty Association official web site page regarding pro-rata pay Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland official web site page regarding pro-rata pay". Archived from the original on 2007-08-28.
  16. ^ NASUWT web site Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine Holiday is used here in the British sense of the American vacation.
  17. ^ "Tasmanian Government official web site". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04.
  18. ^ "Long Service Leave Guide" (PDF). WST.Tas.gov.au. Tasmania Department of Justice and Industrial Relations. February 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  19. ^ Tasmanian Legislation online official web site
  20. ^ a b Investopedia web site. Accessed May 29, 2008.
  21. ^ AVC.com web site. Accessed August 20, 2015.
  22. ^ InsuranceZA web site
  23. ^ "wheel-calculator.com". www.wheel-calculator.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  24. ^ 14 CFR § 61.113 (c)