The late Robert King Merton, the distinguished American sociologist, published an article in the December, 1936 issue of the American Sociological Review titled The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action. It’s since been popularized as The Law of Unintended Consequences

Kinda like, say, trying to drive through a flooded road in one of the storm ravaged parts of this country. Or in case of a business owner using the tax laws to exclude Non-Highly Compensated Employees (Non-HCEs) from his or her retirement plan if asset protection is a key objective.

Why? Because a retirement plan covering only the business owner and/or the owner’s spouse is not an ERISA plan, and does not  qualify for anti-alienation protections under Title I of ERISA. Put another way, what seems like a good idea at the time could turn out to be bummer.