The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has received a total of 33,824 withdrawal savings applications, from January until April this year, with an estimated worth of RM235.7 million to settle National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) debts.

Meanwhile, the ministry said for 2015, a total of 26,568 EPF applications were received, involving an overall total of RM209.2 million.

"Section 54(6)of the EPF Act 1991 allows its members to withdraw their EPF savings to finance higher education for themselves or their children.

"The requirements are based on the savings amount in Account 2, studies fee or the education loan - whichever is the lowest," according to a written reply distributed at Dewan Rakyat here, today.

Member of Parliament Ahmad Lai Bujang (BN-Sibuti) had requested the Finance Minister to state the total of EPF contributors who have used Account 2 to settle PTPTN debts.

In reply, the ministry said an overall total of 65,787 approved withdrawals worth RM578.2 million were made by EPF contributors for education funding throughout last year.