Call handlers at the Prudential received spa breaks as prizes for selling annuities - but they were not treating some customers fairly. Sales-linked incentives were offered to staff and managers prior to 2013, but they may not have told customers they could shop around for a better deal. An annuity is a regular pension income bought only once, and for life. The Prudential has been fined nearly 24m for failures when selling them to people who did not receive advice. The company has apologised to those affected and says it is paying compensation, which could total 250m.Individuals save into a pension during their working life and so build up a pension pot. At some point during the first years of retirement, they might use the money that they have saved to buy an annuity from an insurance company. This is a transaction that occurs once, and only once. An annuity is an annual retirement income that is paid to them for the rest of their life.