One way to increase Social Security benefits is to delay the collection of benefits until a later age. Another is to pay back Social Security payments that have already been disbursed in return for higher payments going forward.
Opting for early retirement benefits reduces Social Security payments by as much as 25 percent. Conversely, choosing to delay retirement until the age of 70 increases retirement benefits by 8 percent per year beyond the normal retirement age. Individuals already receiving retirement benefits can file Form 521 at a Social Security office to repay all received benefits in exchange for higher monthly payments going forward. Choosing to repay benefits temporarily stops benefit payments and also requires all automatic deductions, such as Medicare Part B premiums, to be paid by the retiree.