That isn't an expense on top of all funds as far as I can tell. It's just saying that each investment portfolio comes with its own expense ratio, and those expenses range from 0.17% to 4.89% depending on which fund you choose. Here is their list of funds
, and indeed that minimum/maximum lines up.
The fund I'm looking at is Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Bond, which is listed at 0.29%. As mentioned before, if I held $1M in the account, that would cost an additional 0.02% in administrative fees annually, for a total ER of 0.31% at Jefferson. Compare that to a total cost of 0.59% at Vanguard Variable Annuity
for that fund and you come in at nearly half the cost overall.
There is indeed a high transaction cost of $50/transaction with Jefferson, but that is a one-time upfront cost as I'll be investing the money in a lump sum and then letting it sit for decades.
Still looking for that catch...!