Don't remove it. You'll mess up your pants and they'll be less water resistant without any benefit. Recco is a good idea, but it's mostly for body recovery by the time it's deployed; assuming you're even on a mt that has the equipment.
Yeah. My body is so beautiful it deserves a quick recovery...lol. I don't care about the old pants. Going to chuck the reflector in my new goretex pants. Cheers!